Teen smuggler arrested after fleeing immigration checkpoint

TUCSON– Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents from the Nogales Station apprehend a male 17-year-old from Tucson after he fled from the Interstate 19 immigration checkpoint.

Agents referred the driver of a Nissan Versa for a secondary inspection after a Border Patrol canine alerted to an odor it was trained to detect. Instead, the driver fled from the immigration checkpoint. Agents pursued the subject until he lost control and flipped the vehicle near Interstate 19’s kilometer post 63 in Green Valley, Arizona.

As agents were attending to the driver, they discovered a 16-year-old male Mexican national in the vehicle’s trunk. Agents then arrested both teens: the 17-year-old for human smuggling and the Mexican teen for immigration violations.

Border Patrol officials continue to warn about the dangers of riding in the trunk of a car, i.e. carbon monoxide poisoning or being crushed in a rear-end collision.

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.

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. Contacting the Border Patrol to report illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.