Record checks revealed that one man, a Mexican national, was convicted in 2012 of the kidnapping and rape of a minor in San Diego.

By Nikki Gaskins, Patch Staff
Jan 16, 2020 2:30 pm PT

POTRERO, CA—U.S. Border Patrol agents say they arrested five people Wednesday morning who were involved in a human smuggling event, which included a man with a prior felony conviction.

Around 6:20 a.m., officers said a man driving a black Nissan Sentra approached a temporary immigration checkpoint in Potrero and failed to stop at the designated inspection point. Agents stopped the vehicle several yards past the checkpoint and inspected the vehicle.

Agents say they observed five men in the vehicle and questioned them about their citizenship. The three backseat passengers, including a 16-year-old, claimed to be from Mexico and admitted they had no documentation allowing them to be in the U.S. The driver and front passenger, stated they were U.S. citizens. Agents arrested the driver and front passenger on suspicion of smuggling and the other three passengers for being illegally present in the U.S. All five were taken to a nearby station.

Record checks revealed that one man, a 39-year-old-Mexican national, was convicted in 2012 of the kidnapping and rape of a minor in San Diego. The man was sentenced to seven years in prison and was subsequently removed from the U.S, according to officers.

Both U.S. citizens face human smuggling charges and the previously deported Mexican man faces Federal charges for criminal re-entry. The two other individuals will be processed for removal. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

"I am proud of the great work agents demonstrated in arresting this known child predator," Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison said. "Their actions help keep our communities safer."

To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.