Tags: 77 people | ups truck | mexico border

77 People Packed in UPS-Like Truck Near Mexico Border

77 People Packed in UPS-Like Truck Near Mexico Border
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 January 2018 07:47 AM

Federal agents found 77 illegal immigrants packed in what looked like a UPS truck in a rural border area in California. The familiar-looking brown vehicle smelled of fresh paint.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in San Diego said the suspected illegal immigrants were shoulder-to-shoulder in the sweltering cargo area of the truck, and included five children, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

An officer from the California Highway Patrol stopped the vehicle before 5 p.m. on Monday after noticing it was weaving on Old Highway 80 near Boulevard and had no vehicle tags.

A U.S. Border Patrol officer who assisted in the stop observed that the vehicle was riding "extremely low" and smelled of body odor and soap commonly used in Mexico, the Union-Tribune said. It also smelled of fresh paint.

After opening the rear door, authorities found people standing inside and sweating excessively, the federal criminal complaint said.

The truck's driver, identified as U.S. resident Shawn Lee Seiler, reportedly admitted to being involved in human smuggling but said he believed he was transporting 50 people and not 77.

Seiler told investigators he was to be paid $100 for each person he transported, the Union-Tribune said, and authorities charged him with transporting unauthorized immigrants for financial gain.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported an uptick in individuals apprehended while trying to enter the country illegally over the first three months of fiscal year 2018 along the southwest border. In October 34,855 were apprehended, while 39,006 were captured in November and 40,513 were stopped in December, according to agency figures.

Those numbers, though, are dramatically down from over the same period in fiscal year 2017. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported that 66,708 people were captured crossing the southern border in October 2016, 63,361 in November and 58,412 in December.

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Federal agents found 77 illegal immigrants packed in what looked like a UPS truck in a rural border area in California. The familiar-looking brown vehicle smelled of fresh paint.
77 people, ups truck, mexico border
303
2018-47-31
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 07:47 AM
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