Two DACA recipients arrested for involvement in human trafficking
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — In two separate incidents, Border Patrol agents arrested two men present in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order for their involvement in human smuggling incidents on Jan. 24 and 25, 2018.
In the first incident, on Thursday at approximately 8 a.m., Border Patrol agents in east San Diego County arrested two illegal aliens and shortly after observed two suspicious vehicles on Buckman Springs Rd. Agents followed one vehicle, a blue Honda sedan, and conducted an immigration inspection at the United States Border Patrol immigration checkpoint.
Agents questioned the driver, a 22-year-old male Mexican national, who admitted that he was performing scouting duties for a smuggling crew. He also admitted that he was coordinating with another driver of a vehicle to relay information related to Border Patrol operations in the area and the status of the Border Patrol checkpoint to aid in illegal smuggling.
Border Patrol agents learned that the man resides in Riverside County as a DACA recipient. Agents also discovered that the man had successfully participated in alien smuggling on multiple occasions. The man, in violation of the terms of his DACA status, is currently being held in Department of Homeland Security custody for removal proceedings.
Agents later arrested another man, a 25-year-old United States citizen, who was associated with this smuggling scheme.
In another incident, agents received a tip from a citizen who observed a suspected smuggling incident near Torrey Pines State Beach on Jan. 24, 2018. Along with our investigative efforts, information related to the suspected vehicle involved was provided to Federal law enforcement partners. Agents observed the vehicle stopped on the side of Interstate 5 near Dairy Mart Rd. at around 12:10 p.m., and conducted an immigration check.
Agents found three men inside the vehicle, the driver, a 20-year-old DACA recipient, his 22-year-old cousin who is a Mexican national illegally residing in the United States, and a 21-year-old Mexican national illegally in the country. Both the driver and his cousin admitted their involvement with human smuggling in the area. The driver, a beneficiary of DACA which has since expired, is currently being held in Federal custody.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.