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Border Patrol finds 7 people in tractor-trailer with watermelons

March 28, 2013|By Tony Perry

SAN DIEGO -- Seven people suspected of being illegal immigrants from Mexico were discovered in the Imperial Valley inside a chilled tractor-trailer that was carrying watermelons, the U.S. Border Patrol said.

The vehicle was stopped for inspection at 4 a.m. Thursday at the checkpoint on Highway 86 between Salton City and Westmorland, on the edge of the Salton Sea. A Border Patrol dog alerted agents to possible illegal immigrants, the Border Patrol said.

A woman and six men, ages 20 to 52, were found in the trailer, which was refrigerated to 48 degrees. The 50-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and the seven were taken into custody for deportation.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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