Officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection say eleven Chinese nationals were discovered inside furniture contained within a moving truck that was attempting to cross the U.S. border with Mexico.
According to a statement from the CBP, a 42-year-old U.S. citizen arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Ysidro port of entry at around 5:30 p.m. Saturday in a moving truck. Agents conducted a secondary screening and search of the truck, where they discovered the 11 Chinese nationals concealed within various pieces of furniture.
Two people were found inside a washing machine, while another was discovered hiding inside a chest of drawers. Agents found another person hiding inside a dresser.
The driver was taken into custody for his part in the alleged human smuggling ring, while an immigration hold was placed on the 11 Chinese nationals for the pending criminal and immigration proceedings.
"CBP cannot stress enough the dangers of smuggling people," said CBP Director of Field Operations for San Diego Pete Flores. "These are human beings that smugglers subject to inhumane conditions that could have deadly consequences. Fortunately no one was seriously injured."
This isn't the first time Chinese nationals have attempted to cross the border. Last month, CBP officers at the same border crossing discovered six Chinese nationals concealed inside another moving truck, this time, behind a false wall.
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection