Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley arrested 12 undocumented immigrants who were being smuggled inside hay stacks on a tractor-trailer.
The agency reported that the incident occurred Thursday afternoon when the truck stopped at the checkpoint and a Border Patrol K-9 alerted officers. When some of the bales were removed, agents found the Mexican men.
The truck driver, a 46-year-old U.S. citizen, was booked on charges of alien smuggling.
“Human smugglers have no regard for life,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke. “This tight space within the hay-stacks was not ventilated and was not designed with passenger safety in mind. I am proud of our agents. Their dedication to service and the preservation of life prevented serious harm from befalling these individuals.”