An Arizona man is facing a charge of transporting illegal immigrants for profit after a cell phone could be heard ringing in the trunk of a vehicle he was driving while being questioned by Border Patrol.
A car driven by David Rene Martinez was stopped by border agents Feb. 1 along Naco Highway near Bisbee, Arizona, after agents spotted unauthorized migrants going into a neighborhood less than 200 yards from the border wall, according to the Border Report. The agents’ cameras reportedly tracked the blue Ford Focus going into the neighborhood at 4:42 p.m., and it came out a few minutes later while heading for the highway.
Court records obtained by the Border Report state agents followed the car and ordered the driver to stop. When Martinez was asked if anyone else was in the vehicle, he said no. While they were questioning him, however, agents head a cell phone ringing in the trunk of the car.
Martinez was asked to open the trunk of the car and consented, but then claimed the trunk would not open, according to the criminal complaint filed Feb. 2 in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The agents then asked if he would lower the backseats, so they could look inside the trunk, and Martinez allegedly said, “Oh, s—,” when the person in the trunk became visible, records say.
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Border Patrol agents identified the hidden passenger as Mixsael Solano Castaneda, an unauthorized migrant from Mexico. Authorities say Solano told agents his uncle paid to have him smuggled into the United States, and he was told to approach a house in Bisbee until someone came to pick him up. The migrant said a blue four-door sedan approached the home, and the driver told him to get into the trunk of the car.
Solano is reportedly being held by the government as a witness in the case.
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Martinez, a resident of Tucson, is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 20.
Arizona Customs and Border Protection officials did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for more information about the apprehension.
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A CBP source told Fox News Wednesday that there have been over 1 million migrant encounters since Oct. 1, when fiscal year 2024 began, the earliest point at which this mark has ever been reached.
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