Border Patrol busts armed human smugglers at checkpoint

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Early Wednesday morning at a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 near Pine Valley, Calif., officials discovered that two men attempting to smuggle five Mexican nationals into the United States also had a loaded firearm stashed in their vehicle.

It was about 2 a.m. when a 19-year-old male driver and an 18-year-old male passenger arrived at the checkpoint’s primary inspection area in a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection report. The agent noticed two men laying down in the cargo area of the SUV and flagged the vehicle for a secondary inspection.

“During the secondary inspection, agents discovered three additional men sitting in the back seat of the SUV. Agents questioned the five additional passengers, all of whom admitted to being illegally in the U.S. The driver and passenger, along with the foreign nationals, were arrested and taken to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing,” according to the report.

A subsequent search of the SUV uncovered an AR-15 assault rifle in the vehicle’s rear cargo area which was loaded with 19 rounds of ammunition.

The two young men, both U.S. citizens, are currently in Federal custody facing human smuggling charges. The weapons and the vehicle were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

In a separate incident this week regarding an illegal alien from Mexico, Sergio Jose Martinez, 31, was arrested on charges of two violent sexual assaults on Monday in Portland, Oregon, a sanctuary city. Authorities discovered that Martinez had a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2003 and had been deported from the United States a total of 20 times.

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