Fence breach leads to human smuggling case

Fence breach leads to human smuggling case
Human Smuggling Case

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Ajo Station Border Patrol agents assigned to the State Route 85(SR85) immigration checkpoint north of Lukeville, arrested a United States citizen couple and an immigrant in a disrupted smuggling attempt that originated at a breach along the border fence, Sunday afternoon.

At approximately 1:00 p.m., agents operating remote video surveillance equipment observed a group of men cutting the wire mesh fence that delineates the international boundary near the Lukeville Port of entry. As agents observed the cutting, two men illegally entered the United States from Mexico, through the breach and one of them entered an awaiting parked Dodge SUV near the fence.

Agents requested an Air and Marine Operations (AMO) helicopter crew patrolling nearby and ground patrol to follow the vehicle, which headed north on the highway towards the checkpoint.

Agents at the SR85 Immigration Checkpoint performed an immigration inspection on the three occupants, discovering the rear passenger, a 40 year-old Mexican male, was illegally present in the country and attempted to use fraudulent immigration documents.

The female driver, 36, and male front seat passenger, 32, were arrested on federal human smuggling charges and will remain in custody pending disposition on their cases. The Mexican national will be processed for immigration violations.

Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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

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