A truck driver was arrested in southern Arizona last week after U.S. border patrol agents discovered 31 people hidden in his vehicle’s trailer, officials said.
The driver, a 40-year-old U.S. citizen from Nogales, Arizona, was driving a 2008 Freightliner at an Interstate 19 checkpoint near Amado on Sept. 11 when a border patrol dog flagged the tractor-trailer for a secondary inspection, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said in a news release on Tuesday.
Inside, agents “discovered and arrested 31 Mexican nationals concealed in the cargo trailer, all illegally present in the country,” officials said.
The driver was arrested for human smuggling, according to CBP.
CBP shared a scan of the trailer, which appears to show human figures in the cargo area.
Border agents said the Mexican nationals in the trailer ranged in age from 15 to 40, and “will be processed for immigration violations.”
CBP warned of the dangers of human smuggling and said the “Department of Homeland Security recently launched ‘Operation Safeguard’ to educate the public and the trucking industry on the life-threatening dangers involved in using commercial conveyances to smuggle humans.”