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Border Patrol busts 13-year-old smuggling 10 illegal immigrants in packed car

The New Mexico Border Patrol pulled over a car driven by a 13-year-old, who was smuggling 10 illegal immigrants.

The teen was stopped Saturday in the town of Deming, about 40 minutes north of the US-Mexico border. The car he was driving was packed with people, including an unaccompanied girl traveling alone.

The boy is a US citizen and has been turned over to New Mexico State Police. The adult immigrants were expelled from the country while the girl was taken to a Central Processing Center in Texas.

The 13-year-old — whose identity has not been released — was one of two teenagers recruited by cartel smuggling organizations as drivers. It is thought they target teenagers because they are harder for authorities to prosecute.

Immigrants lined up by the Border Patrol after being smuggled by a 13-year-old this weekend.
The car used by the 13-year-old in the smuggling.
The car used by the 13-year-old in the smuggling.
Twitter / @USBPChiefEPT

“In two separate events, agents thwarted 3 vehicular smuggling schemes resulting in the interception of 23 smuggled migrants from #Mexico & #Guatemala,” tweeted the Border Patrol.

“Both smuggling schemes involved U.S. Citizen teenage drivers,” said the Border Patrol.

Further details of the bust involving the second teenage driver and their age were not immediately available.

As The Post has reported, smuggling organizations lure inexperienced drivers through ads on social media and promise big cash hauls for the risk of driving illegal immigrants.  

“They don’t just come out and say we need a driver to smuggle people. They’ll have a little catchy phrase, like ‘driver wanted: direct message me.’

“Teenage drivers … when they see that, it’s very enticing … those stacks of money,” Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Lt. Chris Olivarez told The Post in October.

“Plus, you’re going to get paid $2,000 to $3,000 a person, it’s a very enticing business.”

One driver caught in San Antonio the same month said he was getting paid $3,000 per immigrant smuggled before he was caught.

The New Mexico State Police did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on what charges the teens will face.

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