Man Dies During Cross-Border Trek, Smuggler Arrested

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Photo Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

DULZURA, Calif.—A 23-year-old man is behind bars for smuggling seven Mexican nationals into the U.S. on Otay Mountain earlier this week, resulting in the death of one of the members of the group.

On Monday evening, officials in Mexico notified the U.S. Border Patrol that they had received information from a woman who stated she was lost north of the border on Otay Mountain and her husband was very ill and suffering from dehydration.

Border Patrol agents, along with the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) team and CBP Air and Marine Operations, launched a search for the missing couple. Agents located the woman, a 22-year-old Mexican national, about two miles north of the border at about 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday. At about 8 a.m., a Border Patrol K-9 team found the deceased body of the woman’s husband, a 35-year-old Mexican national, near the area where the woman was located.

After an investigation, agents linked the couple to a group of six Mexican nationals who were previously apprehended about five miles north of the border near Dulzura. Within the group, agents were able to identify the smuggler, who was charged for human smuggling.

“Due to this tragic result, the smuggler should face the highest consequences,” said Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Boone Smith.