CAMPO, Calif. (KGTV) - U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a “brazen” smuggling attempt Wednesday at the U.S.-Mexico fence in East San Diego County, officials said.
Agents near Campo reported the incident Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. when a Dodge 4500 utility truck crossed into the U.S.
Fifteen minutes later, agents saw a man who had a truck matching the suspect vehicle, using bolt cutters trying to cut the lock of a South Bay resident’s private gate. Agents tried to stop the man, but he drove off.
Following a short pursuit, the truck stopped and everyone inside ran away, Border Patrol officials said.
“A vehicle drive-thru, with overloaded and unsecured passengers, particularly in this terrain, can certainly result in a rollover accident with serious injuries and death,” said San Diego Sector Interim Chief Douglas Harrison. “The breach of this old landing mat wall is illustrative of the need for more hardened infrastructure with greater impedance and denial capabilities to keep the area secure. I’m proud of our agents’ steadfast vigilance that put a stop to this smuggling attempt.”
Agents captured 16 people who admitted to entering the country illegally. The group consisted of nine men and five women from Mexico, and a man and woman from Guatemala.
The truck’s driver, a 27-year-old Mexican citizen, will face charges, according to the Border Patrol.