U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered 13 immigrants who were concealed in furniture and appliances, authorities said.

On Thursday evening, a Suburban towing a utility trailer loaded with furniture and appliances arrived at the U.S. 83 checkpoint. Authorities referred the vehicle to secondary inspection, where a K-9 unit allegedly alerted to possible contraband.

Agents then discovered 13 individuals hidden among the varied furniture items, mattresses, and home appliances. None were wearing personal protective equipment. All were determined to be Mexican citizens who had crossed the border illegally.

Agents arrested the driver, a U.S. citizen, pending further investigation. Border Patrol seized the vehicle. Authorities said this incident again demonstrates the lack of regard smugglers have for the safety of the people they exploit for profit.

“The unsafe manner in which these individuals were being transported is despicable. The agents of the Laredo Sector will continue to work diligently targeting human smugglers who value monetary gain over human lives,” Border Patrol said in a statement. “The agency’s Strategic Objectives focus on the mission of disrupting criminal networks by developing and training a dedicated workforce. The agency also focuses on the future of combating crime by enhancing data and analytical technologies that will improve the detection and prevention of illegal activity. We ask our communities to take a stand with us in protecting our nation against criminal organizations. Together we can and will make our homeland safer.”

To report suspicious activity such as human or drug smuggling, download the “USBP Laredo Sector” app or contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free at 1-800-343-1994.

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