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10-Year-Old Girl, Mother Rescued From Compartment in Convertible Car During Border Smuggling Attempt at Otay Mesa

A 10-year-old girl and her mother who were being smuggled across the border in the back of a convertible had to be cut out by firefighters early Tuesday after the compartment they were hiding in failed to open.

The mother and daughter, both Mexican citizens, were not injured. The driver, a 27-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested on suspicion of human smuggling, authorities said.

The silver Nissan 350Z tried to cross the Otay Mesa Port of Entry at 1:40 a.m., according to the complaint. As it waited in the pre-primary lanes, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection dog alerted to something in the convertible’s compartment area.

The driver, Roberto Silvio Cedeno, handed over his U.S. passport and said he was headed to National City with nothing to declare, the complaint says. He was then directed to secondary inspection.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.