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By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2018 (San Diego) – Two immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have been arrested for involvement in human smuggling in two separate incidents, The U.S. Border Patrol reports.

Border Patrol agents in San Diego’s East County arrested two undocumented immigrants on January 24th around 8.a.m.  Soon after, agents observed two suspicious vehicles on Buckman Springs Road. They followed one of the vehicles, a blue sedan, and conducted an immigration inspection at a checkpoint.

According to a Border Patrol press release, agents questioned the driver, a 22-year-old Mexican national, who admitted that he was performing scouting duties for a smuggling crew. He also admitted that he was coordinating with another driver of a vehicle to relay information related to Border Patrol operations in the area and the status of the Border Patrol checkpoint to aid in illegal smuggling.

Border Patrol agents learned that the man resides in Riverside County as a DACA recipient. Agents also discovered that the man had successfully participated in alien smuggling on multiple occasions. The man, who is in violation of the terms of his DACA status, is currently being held in Department of Homeland Security custody for removal proceedings.

Agents later arrested another man, a 25-year-old United States citizen, who was associated with this smuggling scheme.

In another incident, agents received a tip from a citizen who observed a suspected smuggling incident near Torrey Pines State Beach on Jan. 24.  Along with Border Patrol investigative efforts, information related to the suspected vehicle involved was provided to Federal law enforcement partners. Agents observed the vehicle stopped on the side of Interstate 5 near Dairy Mart Rd. at around 12:10 p.m., and conducted an immigration check.

Agents found three men inside the vehicle:  the driver, a 20-year-old DACA recipient, his 22-year-old cousin who is a Mexican national illegally residing in the United States, and a 21-year-old Mexican national illegally in the country.

Both the driver and his cousin admitted their involvement with human smuggling in the area. The driver, a beneficiary of DACA which has since expired, is currently being held in Federal custody.

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