Phony Border Patrol vehicle stopped in Arizona, foiling human smuggling attempt, US authorities say

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Smugglers recently used a phony Border Patrol vehicle and a driver in a fake uniform during a smuggling attempt at the Arizona-Mexico border, U.S. immigration authorities say.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Tucson-area Border Patrol agents took the driver and 10 migrants into custody, according to a tweet from John Modlin, interim chief patrol agent of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector.

Modlin shared a photo of the phony vehicle, which appeared strikingly similar to an actual Border Patrol vehicle.

“This is not a Border Patrol vehicle,” Modlin wrote. 

The phony vehicle used in the smuggling attempt. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The driver was also wearing a fake Border Patrol uniform. Modlin didn’t say when the incident occurred.

The incident contributed to a spike in migrant encounters that authorities have witnessed this year.

Nearly 213,000 migrants were encountered at the southern border in July, a 13% increase over the already massive 188,000 migrant encounters in June, according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. In July 2020, there were just 40,929 encounters. 

Last Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, announced that he’s keeping National Guard members at the U.S.-Mexico border for another year.

“The Biden-Harris administration has utterly failed to secure the border,” Ducey said in a news release from his office. “It’s clear that this White House has neither the ability nor the desire to address the border disaster — a crisis of their own making.”

Illegal immigrant apprehensions are the highest in two decades. Law enforcement is overwhelmed. The situation is out of control. This situation is the direct result of reckless policies and failed communication by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris,” he added. 

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