U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector arrested an MS-13 gang member Thursday afternoon.
The incident occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m., when an agent assigned to the Indio Station performed a vehicle stop on a 2005 Honda Odyssey near the intersection of Spa Road and Hot Mineral Spa Road. The agent performed an immigration inspection on both driver and passenger of the vehicle. The driver stated he was a U.S. citizen and presented a valid passport. The passenger stated that he was a citizen of El Salvador and admitted to being illegally present in the United States. The driver was arrested and transported to the Highway 111 immigration checkpoint for further processing. The passenger was arrested and transported to the El Centro Station Centralized Processing Center for immigration and criminal history screening.
The driver was booked for 8 USC 1324 alien smuggling and released. The vehicle was seized by El Centro Sector.
The passenger, a 33-year-old man, is a self-admitted MS-13 gang member. The gang member is being held in federal custody pending removal back to El Salvador.