Willcox, Ariz. –Willcox Border Patrol agents arrested five persons in a disrupted smuggling attempt at the State Route 90 Immigration Checkpoint Sunday afternoon near Whetstone.
Agents working the primary inspection lane conducted an immigration inspection on three visible occupants in a Chevrolet Avalanche; all 18 years of age. During the inspection, a Border Patrol canine alerted to an odor coming from the vehicle.
Agents then referred the vehicle for a secondary inspection and discovered two Mexican men, ages 21 and 27, concealed under a hard bedcover in the rear of the vehicle. Agents arrested both men for immigration violations and seized the vehicle.
The three 18-year-olds, all residents of Sierra Vista, were also arrested and will remain in custody pending a disposition on federal smuggling charges.
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.
As temperatures continue to rise, Border Patrol officials warn that Arizona’s high temperatures can kill humans riding in the trunk of a car. Other dangers include carbon monoxide poisoning and the risk of serious injury or death from a vehicle collision.
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. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.