A 10-year LAPD officer and a second person were charged by federal prosecutors Monday with trying to smuggle a Mexican citizen into the United States in the trunk of a car at the Otay Mesa border crossing.
Officer Carlos Curiel Quezada Jr., 34, and Angelica Godinez, 31, were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers Saturday evening when they drove a white 2014 Nissan Juke through the border crossing.
The pair showed their passports and said they were headed to Mission Hills, according to the federal charging document. But when the car was inspected by a device that acts like an X-ray machine at a secondary inspection point, authorities noticed something unusual about the trunk.
When law enforcement popped the trunk, they found Antanasio Perez-Avalos, 26, hiding in the spare tire compartment, according to federal prosecutors.
Perez-Avalos “is a Mexican citizen with no legal ability to enter the United States,” U.S. Customs officials said.
Quezada and Godinez were charged with bringing in a person without presenting them to an appropriate immigration officer at a port of entry, according to the criminal complaint.