PHOENIX — United States Border Patrol agents discovered seven undocumented immigrants hiding in trunks of two cars during routine inspections at a checkpoint along Interstate 19.
According to a press release from the border patrol, agents discovered three individuals concealed in a trunk of a four-door sedan after it was referred for a secondary inspection. The subjects, all identified as Mexican nationals including a 16-year-old juvenile, were taken into custody. The driver, who is a United States citizen, was arrested.
In a separate incident, agents referred a white Pontiac sedan for secondary inspection in which they discovered four undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, including two under the age of 14 hiding in the trunk. The subjects were taken into custody and the driver was arrested.
The border patrol said both vehicles did not have emergency release inside the trunks and lacked ventilation. Officials said the inside temperature of the closed trunks can get in excess of 125 degrees with temperatures reaching triple digits during Arizona’s summer months.
“This is another example of the callous disregard for life indicative of criminal organizations,” said Chief Patrol Agent Paul Beeson. “If not for the actions of these Border Patrol agents, seven people including three children could have easily lost their lives at the hands of unscrupulous smugglers.”