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Border agents arrest 26 for human smuggling, drugs

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In the last 10 days Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents have apprehended 19 people for attempting to enter the country illegally — including two Chinese nationals hidden in the trunk of car, and arrested seven others for their role in human smuggling or drug trafficking, officials said.

On April 9, an Arizona-based helicopter crew spotted a group of suspected illegal immigrants moving through the desert near Arivaca. Agents on horseback found the group and apprehended 13 people, all of them in camouflage clothing. 

On April 10, agents arrested a male U.S. citizen driving a Chrysler 300 with two undocumented women, identified as Mexican nationals, inside. The man also had a loaded pistol and two full magazines. 

The same day, Casa Grande-area Border Patrol agents and members of the West Desert Task Force — a joint initiative between Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office — came across a Nissan sedan loaded with 98 pounds of marijuana, two weapons, and ammunition. Agents apprehended three subjects in connection with the seizure, according to a release from Customs and Border Protection. 

On April 11, two U.S. citizens were arrested at the Interstate 19 checkpoint after agents discovered two men, both identified as Chinese nationals according to the release, hidden in the trunk of a Ford Taurus. On the same day near Nogales, agents arrested a U.S. citizen for attempting to smuggle two undocumented immigrants in the trunk of a Chevrolet Cavalier. 

All those arrested will be prosecuted, according to the Friday release, and the vehicles, drugs and weapons were processed for seizure.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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Customs and Border Protection

With a helicopter from Office of Air and Marine hovering above, U.S. Border Patrol agents on horse patrol arrest 13 people in camouflage suspected of entering the U.S. illegally.

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