Border Patrol agents discover 9 people inside locked rental truck

Posted: Updated:
Immigrants concealed in Penske truck By Jennifer Thomas Immigrants concealed in Penske truck By Jennifer Thomas
Seized Penske truck and towed Toyota pickup By Jennifer Thomas Seized Penske truck and towed Toyota pickup By Jennifer Thomas

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents discovered nine people inside a locked rental truck last week.

Nogales agents at the Interstate 19 checkpoint encountered a Penske rental truck towing a Toyota pickup truck early Thursday. The driver consented to a search of the rental truck.

Agents opened the latched cargo door and discovered eight people from Mexico and one from Guatemala. Agents said there was no means of escape.

The nine individuals were taken into custody and processed.

The driver, who is a United States citizen, will be prosecuted for human smuggling.

"Unscrupulous smugglers have no regard for human life and often place illegal immigrants in precarious situations," U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release. "Border Patrol values lives and continues to work diligently to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations who put lives in danger each day."