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Human smugglers locked migrants in toolboxes with no means of escape along El Paso sector, officials say

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EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that agents from the U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector have intercepted 25 human smuggling events, rescuing 170 migrants, in the past week.

This contributes to a total of more than 590 human smuggling incidents that have been intercepted by U.S. Border Patrol agents of the El Paso Sector since the start of the 2022 fiscal year.

Many of these incidents put the lives of the migrants being smuggled in danger.

On June 30 at approximately 10:10 a.m., Border Patrol agents at the Ysleta Station checkpoint discovered three adult males from Honduras locked inside toolboxes in the trunk of a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup after conducting a routine immigration inspection. These containers had restricted oxygen and no means of escaping. All three men were medically evaluated and determined to be in good health.

The driver of the pickup is a U.S. citizen and was arrested after admitting to possession of a personal amount of marijuana along with a handgun pistol. He told agents he did not have the keys to the toolboxes in his trunk. Officials say agents later managed to open the toolboxes that held the men being smuggled.

The driver remains in custody and is to be charged with Conspiracy to Transport.

This incident along with others is under investigation.

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Kerry Mannix


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