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Passengers were Mexican nationals, agents tipped off by cloth booties on shoes

Border Patrol agents said the presence of booties on shoes like these tipped them off that the passengers at a vehicle stop Sunday were Mexican nationals. Photo courtesy of the US Border Patrol
Border Patrol agents said the presence of booties on shoes like these tipped them off that the passengers at a vehicle stop Sunday were Mexican nationals. Photo courtesy of the US Border Patrol

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man at the San Clemente checkpoint on Sunday for human smuggling and recovered a stolen vehicle being used in the illicit activity.

Agents stopped the driver of a 2008 white Mercedes and his three passengers at approximately 11:15 p.m., as they arrived at the checkpoint. The 23-year-old male driver (a U.S. citizen) displayed a nervous demeanor, according to a release from the agency. Agents observed that his three male passengers were wearing dirty clothing and wearing cloth booties over their shoes (which are typically used to conceal footprints when crossing the border illegally, according to the agency).

Border Patrol agents questioned the three men, who admitted they were Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S. Agents arrested the driver and three men. Records checks on the vehicle revealed a Carlsbad resident had reported it stolen on May 4.

The driver of the vehicle is being held in Department of Homeland Security custody on charges of alien smuggling. The three Mexican nationals also are being held in DHS custody. The vehicle was seized as evidence.

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