The two Mexican Nationals in the back of the SUV. Courtesy Border Patrol

Two teenage smugglers armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and carrying five Mexican nationals were arrested Wednesday at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8.

A Hyundai Santa Fe SUV driven by an 19-year-old man with an 18-year-old passenger was stopped around 2 a.m. at the checkpoint near Pine Valley.

During the initial inspection, an agent noticed two men lying down in the cargo area of the SUV. Three more men were found in the backseat. All were Mexican nationals.

After the arrests, agents searched the SUV and discovered the assault rifle, which was loaded with 19 rounds of ammunition.

The two suspected smugglers are now in federal custody facing human smuggling charges.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.