Border Patrol agents from San Diego arrested 23 illegal aliens near Tecate who had been smuggled through a break in the border fence in three vehicles.
The arrests, which took place Monday morning, came about 20 miles east of the Tecate port of entry. Agents spotted a panel missing from the international boundary fence, found an abandoned Dodge Ram pickup, footprints and other tire tracks.
With the help of a K-9 team, agents rounded up 17 individuals near the break.
A short distance away, a GMC Safari van was found hidden in the brush. When agents approached, the vehicle accelerated and crashed into a nearby fence. The driver and one passenger fled, but six individuals inside the van were arrested.
Later in the day, agents located a third vehicle, an abandoned Ford Expedition, which was determined to be involved in the same smuggling incident.
All individuals arrested face removal proceedings.