California Border Patrol (CBP) arrested two men with a loaded assault rifle for attempting to smuggle five Mexican citizens.
At around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, agents stopped a 19-year-old man driving a Hyundai Santa Fe at a Border Patrol checkpoint off Interstate 8 near Pine Valley, according to CBP.
The man and his 18-year old male passenger, both U.S. citizens, were sent to a secondary inspection after two men were seen lying down in the SUV’s cargo area. The secondary inspection revealed three more passengers in the SUV’s backseat, according to CBP.
During questioning the five Mexican nationals admitted their illegal status, and all seven men were arrested and taken to a Border Patrol station, according to a statement.
Agents also found an AR-15 assault rifle with 19 rounds of ammunition in the SUV’s cargo area after the arrests were made.
The driver and his front seat passenger were charged with human smuggling. The weapons and vehicle were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.