Border Patrol agents working the Highway 78 immigration checkpoint encountered a United States citizen transporting eight illegal aliens concealed in a boat he was towing.
On the evening of September 11, Border Patrol agents working the checkpoint near Palo Verde, California, encountered a 1999 Ford Expedition towing a fishing boat. A Border Patrol canine alerted to the vehicle and agents referred the vehicle to the secondary inspection area. During their investigation, agents discovered eight illegal aliens hiding under the boat’s cover. The aliens, whose ages ranged from 18 to 40, were all nationals of Mexico, one of which had been previously removed four times.
The male driver of the vehicle, a 33-year-old U.S. citizen, was booked on smuggling charges. The vehicle, boat, and trailer were seized and the aliens were processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.
Human smugglers are part of a sophisticated criminal enterprise that cares only about the profit to be gained from smuggling illegal aliens. Smugglers view them as nothing more than freight. In this case by transporting people in a fishing boat not designed to safely transport people while being towed. There are no proper restraints, and occupants can be injured or killed during an accident.