Man Arrested After Trying to Smuggle 4 Undocumented Chinese Immigrants Into U.S. in Trunk of Vehicle

Customs officers arrested a 24-year-old man Tuesday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the Mexico-California border after they discovered four Chinese immigrants crammed in the trunk of his car, KTLA sister station KSWB reported.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials released this photo of four Chinese immigrants in the trunk of a vehicle headed to Mexico on March 14, 2017.

The driver, a U.S. citizen, was crossing to the U.S. from Tijuana at about 5:45 p.m. in a white 2014 Chrysler 200 sedan, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. While the car was at the inspection booth, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection canine team circled the vehicle. The dog, which is trained to detect drugs and smuggled humans, alerted at the trunk.

When officers opened the trunk, they found three women and a man, all Chinese citizens, packed into the cramped compartment. All four were taken into custody after officers determined that they did not have legal authorization to enter the U.S.

“Concealing persons in vehicles is dangerous and could have severe consequences,” said Peter Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego. “San Ysidro CBP officers stopped a violation of our immigration law and were able to resolve the incident safely.”

The driver was arrested and faces federal immigrant smuggling charges. Federal officials seized the man’s car.

The four immigrants are being held pending the conclusion of the criminal case before their “removal” from the United States.