A U.S. citizen is facing charges for allegedly attempting to smuggle five Mexican nationals across the U.S.-Mexico border in a hot railroad boxcar, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said.
The discovery happened at approximately 4:30 p.m. Friday when El Centro Sector agents were notified by local police of a 911 distress call.
El Centro police said they were near Clark Road and El Dorado Avenue in El Centro, approximately 90 miles east of San Diego. Police had found six people in a railroad boxcar, they said.
CBP agents discovered five of the men were Mexican nationals and one was a U.S. citizen.
All six men needed medical treatment for symptoms of dehydration and were taken to a local hospital, where they were later cleared.
The men were given a portable cooler and an ice chest with water, CBP agents said. Authorities learned that at the time of the distress call, they had just run out of water and decided to call 911 to ask for help.
Officials took the men back to the El Centro station, where they will be processed. The U.S. citizen will face human smuggling charges. He has not yet been identified.
No other information was immediately available.
Authorities ask anyone who sees suspicious activity to call the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1 (800) 901-2003.