Border Patrol nabs human-trafficking suspects, migrants after hole cut in US-Mexico barrier, truck driven through; 16 arrested

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.