Human trafficking suspects operating along the U.S.-Mexico border this week thought they had an ingenious way to bring illegal immigrants into California – but federal Border Patrol agents were one step ahead of them, tracking down and arresting all 16 people, authorities said Thursday.
The suspects' plan involved cutting a massive hole in a section of the border wall and driving a truck through the gap, The Sacramento Bee reported.
The opening was cut near Campo, Calif., about 50 miles east of San Diego, about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. The suspects then drove a white Dodge utility truck across the border, the report said.
An alert Border Patrol agent spotted a suspect near the truck attempting to use bold cutters on a private fence. The group attempted to flee when authorities closed in, the Bee reported.
When Border Patrol agents eventually caught up with the truck, the suspects and the immigrants took off on foot, the Bee reported.
A short chase ensued before all 16 people were ultimately captured, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The group was reportedly composed of nine Mexican men between ages 15 and 53, five Mexican women between ages 18 and 40, a 28-year-old Guatemalan man and a 29-year-old Guatemalan woman. In addition, the 27-year-old driver of the truck was also apprehended, the newspaper reported.