SAN DIEGO – In the latest incident to plague the Los Angeles police department, a ten-year veteran officer has been arrested for attempting to smuggle a Mexican national across the Otay Mesa Border and into the United States. While it is unclear what the suspect, 34-year-old Carlos Curiel Quezada Jr’s motivations were, the practice of smuggling Mexicans into the U.S. is extremely common, and can be very lucrative for the people who facilitate the crossing – people commonly referred to as “coyotes.”
Although these Coyotes often attempt to move their clients through more rural areas, it is becoming increasingly common for them to use specially outfitted vehicles to take people across. Often times, they will build secret compartments within the vehicles in which they hide the hopeful immigrants. This can be a very dangerous practice and it is not uncommon for immigrants to die before they make it across, because of heat exhaustion and poor ventilation.
In this case, the suspect’s small SUV – a white Nissan Juke – was flagged for secondary inspection. The car was scanned with a highly advanced mobile imaging machine, similar to an X-Ray, and the Mexican national was found hiding in the rear cargo area. At that point, both Mr. Quezada and his companion, 31-year-old Angelica Godinez, were taken into custody.
At a preliminary hearing on Monday, March 16th, the U.S. attorney’s office charged both suspects with one count of “Bringing in Illegal alien(s) without presentation.” The veteran officer Quezada has been assigned to home duty and will continue to be paid until further legal proceedings have taken place.
LATIMES: Carlos Quezada charged as ‘Coyote’