The Border Patrol early Saturday seized a 2 1/2-ton truck packed with 43 illegal aliens on a little-traveled road just north of the Mexican border in Otay Mesa.
The aliens, Mexican and Peruvian nationals, apparently paid $250 to $300 apiece to be smuggled into the United States and taken to the Riverside County community of Corona, said Ed Pyeatt, a Border Patrol spokesman in San Diego.
Patrolling officers who stopped the truck said it appeared to be filled with insulating material. But upon investigation they found a 4 3/4- by 12-foot concealed compartment that held the aliens, Pyeatt said.
"Stacked would be a good word," he said. "They were jammed into it, sitting, lying down. It was not tall enough to stand up in."