Two men who were in the United States under the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have been arrested on suspicion of human smuggling, federal officials said on Monday.
Border Patrol agents arrested the two men in separate incidents on January 24 and 25, 2018.
According to US Customs and Border Protection, the first incident occurred near Torrey Pines State Beach on January 24.
Authorities said they received a tip from a citizen who witnessed a suspected smuggling incident in the area.
Agents then located the vehicle stopped on the side of Interstate 5 near Dairy Mart Road at around 12.10pm, and conducted an immigration check.
Three men were inside the vehicle. The agents found that the 20-year-old is a DACA recipient and his 22-year-old cousin is a Mexican national illegally residing in the US.
A 21-year-old Mexican national illegally in the US was also in the vehicle.
Agents followed a blue Honda sedan to the checkpoint and questioned the driver, a 22-year-old Mexican national.
He allegedly admitted that he was performing scouting duties for a smuggling crew.
Agents also claim that he admitted that he was ‘coordinating with another driver of a vehicle to relay information related to Border Patrol operations in the area and the status of the Border Patrol checkpoint to aid in illegal smuggling’.
Border Patrol agents said the man resides in Riverside County as a DACA recipient.
Agents also found that the man had allegedly participated in alien smuggling on multiple occasions.
The man, in violation of the terms of his DACA status, is currently being held in Department of Homeland Security custody.