U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 19 checkpoint discovered yet another large group of undocumented immigrants hidden inside a northbound semi-trailer.
At approximately 10 p.m. on Saturday night, agents working at the checkpoint near Tubac referred a tractor-trailer for secondary inspection after a Border Patrol canine alerted to the vehicle, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release issued Monday.
During the inspection, agents found 29 undocumented immigrants from Mexico and one from Ecuador hiding inside the trailer, which was hauling a load of produce. One of the migrants was an unaccompanied minor, CBP said.
All 30 were arrested and will be processed for immigration violations, the agency said, adding that the U.S. citizen driver and a passenger face prosecution for human-smuggling violations.
The bust comes on the heels of several similar incidents in recent months at the I-19 checkpoint:
• On Oct. 14, Border Patrol agents at the checkpoint found 32 undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Ecuador hiding amidst a cargo load of produce in a trailer chilled to 47 degrees.
• On Sept. 18, a truck driver from Nogales was arrested after Border Patrol agents found 31 undocumented Mexican nationals ranging in age from 15 to 40 in the trailer he was pulling north on I-19.
• On Aug. 7, a group of 33 foreign nationals – including 12 minors and a pregnant woman – were found inside a produce trailer where the temperature had reached nearly 100 degrees. The migrants were from Mexico and El Salvador and the 12 minors in the trailer ranged in age from 3 to 17.