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Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Agents arrest 26 in human smuggling attempts

July 15, 2018

YUMA, Arizona Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents working at two different immigration checkpoints arrested 26 illegal aliens in two significant human smuggling attempts over the last week.

Just after midnight last night, a Wellton Station Border Patrol supervisor was working the immigration checkpoint on eastbound Interstate 8 near Yuma when a white Ford E-350 passenger van containing 13 subjects stopped for inspection. A work helmet and reflective safety vest commonly worn by laborers were displayed on the dashboard. The driver, a 31-year-old male from Mexico, was questioned as to his citizenship and determined to be lawfully admitted for permanent residence. The 12 passengers were also questioned as to their citizenship and all were determined to be illegal aliens from Mexico. The driver was arrested for smuggling charges and the 12 illegal aliens were processed for removal proceedings.

A second significant human smuggling attempt occurred Friday. Blythe Station Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 78 Immigration Checkpoint near Palo Verde, California arrested 14 illegal aliens after they attempted to circumvent the checkpoint on foot. Thirteen were Mexican nationals and one was a Guatemalan national. All were determined to have been part of a human smuggling attempt and were processed for removal proceedings.

An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

All persons, drugs and vehicles are processed per Yuma Sector guidelines. Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt.

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP strives to keep terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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