Las Cruces – U.S.Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Las Cruces Station apprehended a U.S Citizen attempting to smuggle four illegal migrants into the country while endangering their lives at the Interstate 25 traffic checkpoint during a routine inspection.
On March 13, 2010, Las Cruces agents observed a Maroon Ford F-450 as it approached the primary inspection area of the traffic checkpoint. A canine unit conducting pre-primary inspections alerted to the under carriage of the pick-up truck. Agents noted a single occupant in the cab of the vehicle and began a routine series of questions. During the interview, the primary agent noticed the male driver began displaying unusual mannerisms and provided conflicting information. The occupant of the vehicle stated that he was a U.S. Citizen.
Agents requested and were given consent to conduct a search. Agents discovered two females hidden in the back seat of the F-450. Further investigation resulted in the discovery of a hidden compartment which concealed two additional females in the under belly of the vehicle near the rear differential. Due to the tight space in the compartment, agents had difficulty extracting the two concealed females.
As a result of their concealment in the compartment area, the concealed females were exposed to the heat from the motor and to fumes from the exhaust. In order to hide in the compartment the individuals were required to lie across the rear differential of the vehicle which caused the two individuals to suffer from burns, scratches, and exposure to carbon monoxide.
These most recent arrests exemplify the ongoing efforts by the U.S. Border Patrol to secure America's Borders. These checkpoints provide an additional layer in "Defense in Depth" strategy in an ongoing effort to keep criminal activity from exploiting roadways and routes of egress leading away from the border.