Traffic Stop thwarts illegal immigrant smuggling attempt

U.S. Border Patrol agents working in southern New Mexico rescued four immigrants from a potentially deadly situation.

Early Monday, August 17th, Border Patrol agents from Lordsburg conducted a traffic stop near the Arizona state line. According to officials, agents were alerted to suspicious activity in an area known for illicit activity due to remoteness of the area and the proximity to the border.

IMG_0151IMG_0149As agents approached the vehicle, they saw one individual trying to hide from view in the rear floorboard of the 2002 Ford Taurus.

A subsequent search of the vehicle led agents to the discovery of three more subjects stuffed in the trunk. It was determined that all four persons were residents of Mexico, and illegally in the United States.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as 48-year-old Scott Howard Hannah, a United States citizen.

A total of four illegal immigrants were placed under arrest and transported to the Lordsburg Border Patrol station for further investigation and processing.  Hannah faces criminal prosecution on alien smuggling charges.

Rescues and deaths of migrants encountered along the border region by the El Paso Sector Border Patrol have significantly dropped in almost a decade.  Over the past nine years, rescues have fallen considerably from 504 people in FY 2006, to just three persons in FY 2014.

Extreme temperatures and inhospitable terrain present some of the many dangers that undocumented immigrants routinely face when attempting to enter the United States. The risk of death is rarely a consideration for smuggling organizations as past practices dictate in their attempt to illegally transport people into the United States.