Human smuggling attempt in a shipment of eggplants, stopped at I-19 checkpoint

Human smuggling attempt in a shipment of eggplants, stopped at I-19 checkpoint
Human smuggling attempt stopped (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - An Arizona man, driving a semi full of eggplants, was stopped after attempting to smuggle three people across the border and now faces charges.

Border Patrol agents out of Nogales stopped the man at an Interstate 19 checkpoint on Thursday night, March 7 after a CBP canine alerted to his truck.

The truck was pulled for further inspection and among the produce from Mexico, BP agents discovered a man from Guatemala and two other men from Mexico.

The four men, including the 45-year-old truck driver were arrested, according to BP officials. The three men who were in the U.S. illegally are being processed for immigration violations, while the driver faces federal human smuggling charges.

Department of Homeland Security has recently launched “Operation Safeguard” to educate the public and the trucking industry on the life-threatening dangers involved in using commercial conveyances to smuggle humans, in an effort to prevent fatalities.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free.

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