Smugglers are using increasingly elaborate schemes to get people and drugs across the U.S./Mexico border, according to an Arizona Republic story.
The trickery often involves business vehicles. Trucks stolen or bought from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Federal Express, Arrowhead Water, the City of Douglas, Channel 12 News (KPNX) have been used. Even fake Border Patrol vehicles have been confiscated.
Border patrol agents have caught undocumented immigrants in dashboards, sewn into a seat, inside a piñata and inside the gas tank of a flatbed pickup truck.
Inspectors found one woman under the hood of a truck, screaming, because she was being "cooked alive" by the radiator, a Border Patrol spokesman told the Republic.
Inspectors routinely pull packages of drugs from hidden compartments in all imaginable part of cars, from the drive shafts to the bumpers. A Border Patrol agent in Nogales recounted a case where agents pulled over a truck that looked like it was stacked high with plywood. When they got the truck back to the station, they found the centers of the planks of plywood were cut out to make a hidden compartment for 995 pounds of marijuana.
The Border Patrol counted a record 473 deaths of undocumented immigrants last fiscal year, according to the Arizona Republic story.