Border Patrol agents intercepted a cargo trailer carrying 25 Mexican nationals near the border.
It happened in Tecate on Monday morning.
Before the agents uncovered the smuggling attempt, they said they saw a group of suspected illegal immigrants board a utility van along state Route 188. Agents followed the van to a parking lot, where a semi-truck was parked. Agents then watched as people exited the van and boarded the semi-truck's cargo trailer through a trap door in the trailer floor.
As the agents approached the two vehicles, the driver of the first van fled the scene. The agents arrested the driver of the semi, a 49-year-old man, after discovering 23 men and two women inside the trailer.
The driver is facing smuggling charges and is currently in federal custody.