Recently the subject of human smuggling has been thoroughly discussed in the news media. And as it relates to people entering the country from the Mexican side of the border, authorities have invested significant resources into attempting to stamp out the smuggling of humans into the country.
But while there are many ways people may be illegally entered into the U.S., human smuggling tends to be a business venture, and hence relies on smuggling large volumes of people at once. However, as exemplified by a smuggling attempt recently uncovered by U.S. Border Patrol agents, sometimes the smuggling involves just one individual.
Border Patrol agents recently stopped a 2002 Chevrolet van that was traveling on Interstate 8 in California on suspicion of illegal activity. The 21 year-old driver was asked by agents if they could search her vehicle, and she consented. The Border Patrol agents on the scene used a specially trained K-9 to conduct a sniff-search of the van, which alerted to the presence of contraband under the van’s floor.
After dismantling the floor of the van, agents found that a 38-year-old Mexican national had been enclosed in the floor in an attempt to smuggle him into the U.S. The man allegedly admitted to not having the proper documentation needed to enter the country, and he and the driver were arrested on smuggling charges.
According to Border Patrol Agent, Gerardo Gutierrez, there are many different indicators that Border Patrol agents use to help determine when a particular situation is suspicious. However, he declined to enumerate the criteria, saying that divulging the information could compromise future law enforcement efforts.
According to reports, the smuggled man is likely to be used as a material witness against the woman driver of the van, and then he will likely be deported back to Mexico.