- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Border Patrol agents found 14 illegal immigrants stuffed inside two portable toilets last week and arrested an American man who said he was being paid to smuggle them deeper into the U.S.

Agents sniffed out the smuggling operation after receiving a report of a drone incursion near McAllen, Texas.

When they responded, the agents found a pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer with two portable toilets. The truck refused to pull over at first but eventually yielded, and when agents approached, they said they saw shoes through a partially open toilet door.

That’s when they found the 14 people trying to hide inside.

Juan Eduardo Flores, charged as the driver of the truck, told agents he didn’t know how much he was going to get paid, but he needed money to fuel his drug addiction, according to an affidavit filed in the case in federal court in Texas.

Among those in the toilets were Serafin Alberto Constanza-Chavarria, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who paid $12,5000 for his trip across the border. He had waded the Rio Grande and walked two hours to the pickup location for the truck with the toilets.

SEE ALSO: Smuggler who used coffin to move illegal immigrants pleads guilty

Geidi Estefany Mendez-Valencia, also of El Salvador, said she paid $12,000 for her trip.

Last week prosecutors announced a guilty plea in another odd smuggling case.

Zachary Taylor Blood was caught trying to drive two illegal immigrants from Mexico through a highway Border Patrol checkpoint in Texas by stuffing them inside a coffin.

He told the agents he was carrying a Navy veteran, but one of the agents, a vet himself, said the military would never have allowed the rusty, battered coffin and poorly draped flag.

When agents pulled off the lid, they found the two migrants.

Cloned delivery trucks, ambulances, taxis and tow trucks carrying migrants also have been sniffed out by agents at checkpoints.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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