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Smugglers Subject Women and Children to Inhumane Conditions

TUCSON, AZ– U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a 55-year-old Mexican national smuggling 14 men, women, and children in a pickup truck near Douglas, Arizona, Monday morning.

At approximately 7 a.m., a Tucson Sector agent conducted an immigration inspection on the occupants of a Ford pickup traveling west on Geronimo Trail, just east of town. During the inspection, the agent observed people concealed behind the single cab pickup seat, prompting the arrest of the vehicle’s occupants.

15 individuals, including the driver and two accompanied children, were discovered throughout the pickup. Four were concealed behind the seat. Ten others were in the bed, hidden beneath a makeshift, plywood bed cover.
All 14 Mexican nationals and the lone Ecuadorian national were arrested for being illegally present in the United States. The driver remains in custody, pending federal smuggling charges.

“Smugglers submit human beings to unfathomable conditions,” said Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal. “To see people, including children, packed into trunks and covered truck beds is heartbreaking and especially dangerous in this excessive heat.”

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