SAN DIEGO (CBSLA.com) — Border Patrol officers say an alleged human smuggling attempt was thwarted this week after four Chinese nationals were discovered hiding in the trunk of a car.
The incident at the San Ysidro border crossing occurred just before 6 p.m. on Mar. 14 when an 24-year-old American man driving a 2014 Chrysler 200 underwent border inspection, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
While the vehicle was at the booth for inspection, a roving CBP Canine team’s dog alerted officers, who then examined the vehicle’s trunk and discovered four people crammed inside.
Three woman and one man – all Chinese nationals – were taken out of the trunk and process, officials said. None of those detained were eligible to legally enter the U.S.
“Concealing persons in vehicles is dangerous and could have severe consequences,” said Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego. “San Ysidro CBP officers stopped a violation of our immigration law and were able to resolve the incident safely.”
After seizing the vehicle, the driver was taken into custody to await arraignment on federal charges.
Authorities placed an immigration hold on the Chinese nationals, who were expected to be deported “at the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.”