San Ysidro, California - An alleged human smuggling attempt at the San Ysidro port of entry Tuesday ended with the death of two men.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of life,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection San Diego Director of Field Operations Pete Flores.  “There is no safe way to try and illegally cross the border.  If you are trusting a criminal organization, then you are putting your life or the life of a family member in the hands of people who only care about money, not about people.”

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 12, a 41-year-old male U.S. citizen arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry from Mexico driving an orange 2012 Dodge Challenger.  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer referred the car and driver for a more in-depth inspection.

CBP officers ran the vehicle through the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies in the trunk. 

CBP officers opened the trunk and discovered two men inside, a 28-year-old and a 20-year-old, who appeared to be unconscious and not breathing.  CBP officers trained as medical first responders rendered immediate aid while CBP officers contacted 911; San Diego Fire-Rescue Department personnel responded to the scene.

The two men were transported to local hospitals. CBP was later informed that both men had died.  They were both citizens of Mexico with no legal ability to enter the United States.

CBP officers took the driver into custody.  CBP’s San Diego Field Office is the lead agency investigating the case, collaborating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector’s Critical Incident Team.