Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo

A Los Angeles police officer and a woman who was with him when they were stopped at the Otay Mesa border crossing, allegedly with a 26-year-old Mexican man hiding in their car, were charged with smuggling.

Carlos Curiel Quezada Jr., 34, drove a white 2014 Nissan Juke into the busy border crossing around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and both he and his passenger, 31-year-old Angelica Godinez, handed over their passports, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The small SUV was flagged for further inspection and an imaging device similar to an X-ray detected something out of the ordinary in its rear cargo area, Jackie Wasiluk said.

A subsequent search turned up the hiding man, who had no legal ability to enter the country, she said.

The LAPD officer and passenger were arrested and were booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Both were charged Monday with a single count of “bringing in illegal alien(s) without presentation,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The pair were expected to make an initial appearance in federal court in San Diego this afternoon.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Quezada is a 10-year veteran who was assigned to the Hollywood Station. He has been reassigned to home duty, with pay, pending further legal proceedings.

—City News Service

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