A former Los Angeles police officer pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court Wednesday to charges that he tried to smuggle a Mexican citizen into the United States in the spare tire well of his car at the Otay Mesa border crossing.
Carlos Curiel Quezada Jr., 34, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 26 by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
Quezada’s girlfriend, 31-year-old Angelica Godinez, pleaded guilty to lying on an application for court-appointed counsel and will be sentenced the same day as Quezada.
According to court documents, Quezada drove his 2014 Nissan Juke, with Godinez as the front-seat passenger, into the United States through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry at about 6:30 p.m. on March 14, 2015.
The couple presented their U.S. passports and told a Customs and Border Protection Officer that they had nothing to declare. The Customs officer decided to refer the couple to a more intensive inspection.
During the inspection, officers examined the car with Z-Portal, a non- intrusive imaging device similar to an X-ray, and detected something unusual in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. Antanasio Perez Avalos, a 26-year-old Mexican national, was found in a compartment in the spare tire area.
–City News Service
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