A truck driver from Nogales was arrested after Border Patrol agents found 31 undocumented immigrants in the tractor-trailer he was driving north on Interstate 19.
The incident occurred Sept. 11 after agents working at the immigration checkpoint on I-19 referred the 40-year-old U.S. citizen driver for a secondary inspection of his 2008 Freightliner and trailer. The referral was initiated after a Border Patrol dog alerted to the vehicle, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release issued Tuesday.
A scan of the trailer showed people inside, and agents subsequently identified 31 undocumented Mexican nationals ranging in age from 15 to 40.
The driver, who was not identified by name, was arrested for human smuggling, CBP said. His passengers were to be processed for immigration violations.
CBP said the Department of Homeland Security recently launched “Operation Safeguard,” a program meant "to educate the public and the trucking industry about the life-threatening dangers involved in using commercial conveyances to smuggle humans."