3 smugglers arrested after Arizona border agents find 7 migrants in boat

Jan 18, 2023, 4:00 PM

PHOENIX — Three Arizona men were arrested last week after Border Patrol agents found seven migrants concealed inside a boat during an immigration inspection, authorities said.

The migrants were found near Sonoita around 3 a.m. Thursday when agents conducted the inspection on a Ford F-150 pickup truck towing a small boat, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a press release.

Five people were hidden inside a stern compartment on the boat and two others were inside a small compartment inside the boat’s bow, the release said.

The driver and passenger of the pickup truck were arrested, and another man driving a Jeep Commander in tandem with the truck was also arrested in connection to the smuggling attempt.

Two women, four men and one unaccompanied juvenile from Mexico were taken to Sonoita Station for processing.

There were no reported injuries.

“Border Patrol agents and their law enforcements partners are dedicated to the safety and security of all whom they encounter,” Tucson Sector Chief Agent John Modlin said in the release.

“Our agents regularly rescue migrants from extremely dangerous human smuggling situations, such as being transported in compartments of vessels not intended to be used to transport people on roadways in frigid temperatures, and callous smugglers who show no regard for their wellbeing.”

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3 smugglers arrested after Arizona border agents find 7 migrants in boat