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Children Found Stuffed in Trunk of Car

June 8, 2006, 07:21 PM EDT

A mother's desperate attempt to illegally by-pass the Sarita checkpoint nearly cost her and her three children their lives.

The family was found crammed inside the trunk of a car.

A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman says the family was in a secret compartment in the trunk - possibly breathing gas fumes.

A K9 unit alerted agents to the trunk and that's when agents discovered the family.

"If you see the photos you can tell they were tightly packed in this vehicle, they were near the gas tank the vehicle was running, the gas tank fumes, along with the heat," said Border Patrol spokesman Jose Vicente Rodriguez.

He says the conditions inside the truck could have killed the woman and her children.

The driver, who is from Harlingen, was arrested on charges of human smuggling.

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