CBP Officers catch teen stuffed in car dashboard in smuggling attempt

CALEXICO, CA (KUSI) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said they stopped a dangerous human-smuggling attempt after discovering a teen concealed in a dashboard compartment of a vehicle.

The incident happened at about 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 25, when a 28-year-old man and his 21-year-old male passenger, entered the Calexico West port driving a 2001 Ford Taurus. CBP Officers said they conducted a physical search of the vehicle and discovered a teenager hiding inside a dashboard compartment.

Officers escorted the 17-year-old Mexican citizen to a secure location for health checks and further processing. Record checks showed the teen was previously apprehended in March 2019 attempting to illegally enter the U.S. at the Otay Mesa port of entry using a document that did not legally belong to him.

“Smuggling a person in a confined space is dangerous and can have serious consequences,” said Officer in Charge Sergio Beltran. “In this instance no one was seriously injured during this attempted illegal entry.”

The driver and passenger, both U.S. citizens, were arrested and later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await criminal proceedings.

CBP seized the vehicle.

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