SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) — Border Patrol agents say they stopped a car at the San Ysidro entry point Wednesday evening and found two women hidden and locked away in a specially-built compartment in the trunk.
It happened on Wednesday, Jan. 19 around 5:30 p.m.
According to the San Diego Sector Border Patrol, a 66-year-old man from the U.S. arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry driving a gray 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe.
Agents say while they were inspecting the car, the man looked nervous and referred him aside for a more intensive inspection. The car was then screened by a human/narcotic detector dog and the dog was alerted to the underside of the car's trunk.
When border patrol agents checked the trunk area, they found a non-factory compartment with a 25-year-old woman and a 37-year-old woman hidden inside. The compartment was screwed shut, with both Mexican women unable to get out without help from the outside.
Authorities say they removed the screws and covers for the compartment and helped the two women out. Both women did not have any status or documents to be able to legally enter the U.S.
“It’s incredibly dangerous for people to be placed inside of a vehicle compartment they can’t get themselves out of,” said Sidney Aki, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego.
“These two women were lucky that their attempt to try and enter the U.S. illegally this way didn’t end in serious injury or worse.”
The women will be returned to Mexico, and the driver will face smuggling charges, according to Border Patrol.