Utility truck smuggling

Agents arrested a group of illegal immigrants who were being smuggled in Arizona inside a utility truck.

YUMA — U.S. Border Patrol agents prevented 21 illegal immigrants from being smuggled in a utility vehicle near the border.

On June 29, a group of 21 people crossed into the United States along the Colorado River and attempted to get into a large utility vehicle, according to a press release. Yuma Station agents responded to the location and thwarted the smuggling attempt. Seventeen immigrants were apprehended and five fled to Mexico, including the driver of the utility vehicle.

While securing transportation for the large group, one immigrant jumped off the truck and fled to Mexico. The person was immediately apprehended by law enforcement partners in Mexico.

The utility vehicle was registered in Las Vegas, Nevada, but had Arizona license plates affixed to it. A thorough search of the vehicle revealed there was no means of escape from the inside compartments, indicating that the immigrants were going to be smuggled with no way of getting out on their own.

The individuals in the group, all Mexican nationals, were arrested for immigration violations and expelled to their country of origin. The escaped person, who was apprehended by Mexican law enforcement, will be charged locally by the Mexican police.

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