On Tuesday, officers of Customs and Border Patrol who were manning a checkpoint arrested 16 Illegal immigrants after a K-9 dog alerted on a tractor trailer rig supposedly hauling produce. Authorities said that the refrigerated trailer was directed to an area for a secondary search following the alert on the truck during a routine inspection. Stuffed inside the trailer, officers found, mixed in and around the produce, 16 illegals, all of which were about half frozen.
The driver was asked to open the lock on the rear doors. But he refused to comply telling officers that he did not have a key to the lock, only the business he was delivering too had that key. At that point, agents produced a pair of bolt cutters and removed the seal and lock.
When the agents opened the trailer, they found 16 illegal inside. The illegals were found near a load of produce, with the temperature of the trailer set to 51 degrees, the men and women were on the virge of hypothermia. Border Patrol agents said that at that time, the driver of the vehicle was detained, and later a records check revealed he is a suspected member of the violent Central American gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).
As for the illegals, the subsequent investigation revealed a mixed lot, most of them were found to be from Central America and South America including: Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. However, the group also included at least two individuals that were later identified as Muslims from Kosovo in Eastern Europe.
Authorities said the illegals, had no way of getting out of the trailer, as it was locked from the outside and several of the subjects were on the verge of suffering serious permanent damage from the cold conditions. The Mexican-national driver was arrested and will be prosecuted for his role in the incident.