SALTON CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - El Centro Border Patrol agents arrested a group of undocumented immigrants trying to enter the country in the bed of a dump truck Thursday morning.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said 14 people were discovered hiding in the bed of a white, 1997 Ford dump truck that arrived at the Highway 86 checkpoint at about 4:40 a.m. Thursday.
During the checkpoint stop, agents questioned the driver over his immigration status and asked for consent to further search the truck, which CBP said he gave.
During the secondary search, agents discovered the individuals hiding out in the back of the truck.
"This is an example of the blatant disregard for human life and safety to those being smuggled by these smuggling organizations," David Kim, assistant chief patrol agent, said in a release. "This could have turned into a very bad situation if the vehicle would have gotten in an accident or left unattended for a long period of time."
CBP said the individuals were not secured and were unable to get out without help, as a heavy tarp covered the bed and was secured over the truck.
Agents took the driver, identified as a 36-year-old man who is a Border Crossing Card holder, into custody. The 14 immigrants are being processed by El Centro Sector Border Patrol.