Human TraffickingNews

US Agents Thwart Human Smuggling Attempt, Apprehend Driver with Drugs and Illegal Firearm

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Blythe station thwarted a human smuggling attempt at the Highway 78 immigration checkpoint Wednesday evening, and discovered the driver of the vehicle was in possession of dangerous drugs and an illegal firearm.

Just before 7 p.m., agents encountered a BMW sedan at the checkpoint located northwest of Yuma near Palo Verde, California. As they conducted an immigration inspection on the vehicle occupants, they discovered that two females sitting in the back seat were Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States.

The driver of the vehicle, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen from Anaheim, California, was directed to pull into the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area for further investigation. While in secondary, a canine alerted to the vehicle and during a subsequent search, agents discovered 0.72 grams of heroin; four grams of methamphetamine; over three grams of marijuana; 10 pieces of drug paraphernalia; a cache of potentially fake and stolen credit cards, driver’s licenses, and other forms of identification; as well as a printer machine that may have been used to make fraudulent documents.

In addition, agents found a loaded firearm that was unidentifiable due to the make and model number being shaved off.

Record checks conducted on the driver and the front passenger, who was also a U.S. citizen, revealed multiple felony convictions for burglary and receiving stolen property, DUI/hit and run and possession of dangerous drugs, respectively.

The driver of the vehicle was turned over to local law enforcement and the two Mexican nationals were processed and returned to Mexico under the Title 42 directive. The front passenger, a 52-year-old male from Riverside, California, was processed for his involvement in the alien smuggling case.