Mexican drive-thru: Human traffickers cut huge hole in border fence and drive TRUCK full of illegal immigrants into America
- Smugglers cut a hole through a border wall which was made of soft landing mats
- They drove their stolen utility truck into California with 16 immigrants on board
- Driver tried to escape but he and his passengers were seized after ‘short pursuit’
Human traffickers cut a hole in a fence on the Mexican border and drove a utility truck full of illegal immigrants into California before they were arrested after a car chase.
Smugglers cut through a border wall which was made of soft landing mats and drove their stolen truck through the resulting hole.
U.S. border agents launched a manhunt and found the truck driver trying to force open a gate with bolt cutters nearby.
The driver tried to escape but he and his 15 passengers were seized after a ‘short pursuit’ and taken into custody on Wednesday.
Incursion: Smugglers cut through a border wall which was made of soft landing mats and drove their stolen truck through the resulting hole into California
The group included 14 Mexican nationals aged between 15 and 53 as well as a Guatemalan man and woman, aged 28 and 29 respectively.
There were nine men and five women among the Mexican cohort, the Customs and Border Protection agency revealed.
The stolen utility truck, a white Dodge 500 vehicle, was also seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Officials said a ‘transnational criminal organization’ had targeted the old border wall in a ‘brazen smuggling attempt’.
U.S. agents discovered it on Wednesday afternoon when they spotted the hole in the border fence near the town of Campo on the U.S. side.
Within 15 minutes the truck driver had been spotted trying to get inside a private home.
‘Agents observed an adult male with bolt cutters attempting to cut a lock on a local resident’s private gate with a truck matching the description of the suspect vehicle,’ a statement said.
‘Agents activated their emergency lights and siren to stop the suspect vehicle, but the driver refused to yield and fled.
‘After a short pursuit the truck stopped and the driver and passengers fled. Agents tracked down the subjects and arrested the driver and 15 passengers.
‘All 16 admitted to entering the U.S. illegally and were transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.’
Inspection: President Donald Trump visits part of the US-Mexico border fence in California in September this year
Douglas Harrison, the chief agent for San Diego, paid tribute to ‘our agents’ steadfast vigilance’ after the illegal immigrants were arrested.
‘A vehicle drive-thru, with overloaded and unsecured passengers, particularly in this terrain, can certainly result in a rollover accident with serious injuries and death,’ he said.
‘The breach of this old landing mat wall is illustrative of the need for more hardened infrastructure with greater impedance and denial capabilities to keep the area secure.’
President Donald Trump has raised billions of dollars towards a border wall after controversially raiding military funds.
Trump declared a ‘national emergency’ on the southern border and has vetoed congressional attempts to stop him.
The president has previously vowed to build up to 500 miles of border wall by the 2020 election.
Building a wall with Mexico was one of the most high-profile promises of his 2016 campaign.