TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents recently stopped a human-smuggling attempt at the immigration checkpoint near Amado and another one during a vehicle stop near Three Points.
The first encounter occurred Monday (March 27) near Three Points when agents saw a woman, later identified as a U.S. citizen, in a 2001 Chevrolet Impala picking up three men north of the Border Patrol immigration checkpoint on State Route 286.
When agents stopped the vehicle for an immigration inspection, one passenger fled into the desert on foot. Agents then looked in the vehicle's trunk and discovered two male Mexican nationals inside.
"We don't want anyone to die, especially crossing the border," said U.S. Border Patrol agent Christopher Sullivan. "Smugglers often do put illegal immigrants in harm's way and this is an example of smugglers doing whatever they can to put people in danger."
A second smuggling attempt was thwarted when agents at the immigration checkpoint near Amado referred a male U.S. citizen in a 2004 Audi A6 for a secondary inspection, subsequent to a canine alert. Agents then found a male Mexican national concealed in the trunk.
Sullivan said smugglers are constantly finding new ways to smuggle contraband and even people into the U.S., the trunk of cars being a popular choice.
"They've done it before in the past and they'll probably continue to do so," said Sullivan.
Both incidents resulted in the U.S. citizens being arrested for human smuggling. The Mexican nationals are in custody pending removal proceedings in accordance with Tucson Sector guidelines.
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