A Nogales, Ariz., man who was part of a program that allowed for quicker border crossings was arrested Wednesday for trying to smuggle a woman into the United States in the trunk of his car, officials said.
Juan Carlos Chavez, 27, was arrested Wednesday a the Nogales Port of Entry. He had “trusted-traveler” status with the Secure Electronic Network for Traveler’s Rapid Inspection — or SENTRI program, according to a news release from Customs and Border Protection.
Chavez was trying to cross into the U.S. when he was sent for an additional inspection after he was unable to open his car trunk. When officers opened the trunk, they found a 34-year-old Mexican woman inside.
The vehicle was seized and the woman is being held as a material witness. Chavez’ membership in the SENTRI program was revoked.
SENTRI allows members access to a dedicated commuter crossing lane that expedites the inspection process for low-risk travelers. Qualification for the program requires an extensive background check and in-person interview.