Officials: Immigrant smugglers used fake prisoner van

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by Angelhair, May 4, 2010.

  1. Angelhair
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    Angelhair Senior Member

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    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    Van "cloned" to look like either a tour van or a security van, authorities say
    10 people inside were one smuggler; nine illegal immigrants, authorities said
    Smugglers in Mexico helped the illegal immigrants into the United States, authorities say

    San Diego
    (CNN) -- At first glance, the van carrying 10 people looked like it was owned by a San Diego tour company. But a California deputy took a second glance last week and discovered something quite different.

    The van was a "cloned" vehicle -- one that could be quickly converted to look like either a tour van or a security van commonly used to transport illegal immigrants apprehended in the area, authorities say.

    And the 10 people inside it weren't tourists at all. Instead, the occupants included one smuggler and nine illegal immigrants, authorities said.

    The U.S. Border Patrol said quick action by the local police department led to the discovery of an inventive ploy to smuggle aliens into the United States.

    Here's how the operation worked, the agency says: Smugglers in Mexico helped the illegal immigrants get into the United States, either on foot or by other means. Once across the border, the people were met by a van that had "Wackenhut" stenciled on its side. It looks similar to vans contracted by the federal government to transport apprehended aliens.


    Officials: Immigrant smugglers used fake prisoner van - CNN.com
     

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