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U.S. citizen tries to smuggle illegals around checkpoint

October 20, 2018

YUMA, Arizona – Wellton Station Border Patrol agents arrested a U.S. citizen as he attempted to smuggle seven illegal aliens from Mexico around the Interstate 8 Immigration Checkpoint early Wednesday, October 17. At approximately 7:02 a.m., agents conducted an immigration stop on a white 2010 Ford E350 as it was travelling through Dome Valley.

The driver, a 36-year-old male U.S. citizen from San Luis, tried to blend in with local labor traffic. All seven of the passengers were identified as Mexican nationals unlawfully present in the United States whose ages ranged from 14 to 36 years old.

“This interdiction highlights our need to maintain a strong enforcement posture in Dome Valley, which is the main bypass route for the 1155 Immigration Checkpoint. The adversary routinely attempts to mimic legitimate traffic in this area, but our vigilant agents are trained to perceive indications of illicit behavior,” said Wellton Station’s Patrol Agent in Charge Kevin Villegas.

The driver was arrested for transporting and harboring illegal aliens. The seven illegal aliens were processed for immigration violations.

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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