Americans caught at border with unconscious migrant in their truck


EL PASO, Texas – Two U.S. citizens face felony charges after border officers discovered an unconscious migrant hidden in the back seat of a Ford F-150 pickup at the San Ysidro port of entry.

The incident on May 28 led U.S. Customs and Border Protection to call for an ambulance to transport Ivan Montes Velasquez, a Mexican citizen without permission to be in the U.S., to a hospital in San Diego County. After being released by doctors, Montes was taken into CBP custody.

Border officers found Montes after becoming suspicious of Jaime Antonio Luna, the American driving the pickup truck. Luna’s behavior, including a tight grip on the steering wheel and avoiding eye contact, raised concerns. These prompted officers to conduct a thorough inspection and locate Montes unresponsive behind the seats. Records indicate that vehicles can wait in line for up to 130 minutes before reaching the inspection booths.

During interviews, Luna claimed he went shopping in Tijuana with Eduardo Jesus Luna before deciding to drive to the U.S. side of the border, failing to mention the hidden migrant. Eduardo Jesus Luna, however, stated that two armed individuals in Tijuana forced him to conceal the migrant behind the seat of the truck, threatening to follow him to ensure compliance.

Montes, once recovered, revealed that he intended to pay $1,000 to be smuggled across the border, with plans to make his way to Seattle to reunite with family and look for work. The suspects were both charged with bringing illegal aliens into the U.S. for financial gain and aiding and abetting a crime. They appeared in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on May 29 and are set for arraignment on June 27.

Julian Resendiz
Julian Resendiz
Julian is a Texas journalist, writer covering the U.S.-Mexico border.

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