Human smuggling

Two men were found hidden in the trunk of a car during a smuggling attempt Willcox Border Patrol agents thwarted July 1 on I-10, east of Willcox.

Willcox Border Patrol agents arrested seven Mexican nationals, disrupting a July 1 smuggling attempt on I-10 east of Willcox.

The incident took place when agents, patrolling rural roads, spotted a westbound 2003 Chrysler 300 with several people inside, according to a July 2 statement by the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector.

As agents attempted to conduct an immigration inspection on the car's occupants, the driver abruptly stopped the car, fleeing into the desert.

More inside

After a brief foot chase, agents arrested the suspected smuggler, a 36-year-old Mexican man illegally present in the country, and seized the car.

Agents also arrested six male Mexican nationals, ages 24-42. Two of the men were hidden in the car's trunk.

During processing at the Willcox Station, agents discovered that five of the men had been previously charged for immigration violations.

The driver remains in custody pending a court decision on immigration violations, as well as federal charges for human smuggling.

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