August 25, 2008 / 8:27 PM / 11 years ago

U.S. border cops nab airman driving migrants

A U.S. Border Patrol truck patrols at the Mexican border in El Paso, Texas January 25, 2008. U.S. border police arrested a member of the U.S. Air National Guard driving four Mexican illegal immigrants in a car in southern Arizona, authorities said on Monday. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

PHOENIX (Reuters) - U.S. border police arrested a member of the U.S. Air National Guard driving four Mexican illegal immigrants in a car in southern Arizona, authorities said on Monday.

Border Patrol spokeswoman Esmeralda Marroquin said agents arrested the unnamed member of the Air National Guard during a routine traffic stop near Willcox, Arizona, on Saturday.

Marroquin said the airman was driving a Dodge Stratus sedan with Mexican plates at the time of his arrest. He was subsequently charged with alien smuggling.

Border police nab hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants each year and seize tons of narcotics smuggled over the border from Mexico in an illegal trade worth billions of dollars.

Last year three National Guard troops were arrested in south Texas on charges of transporting illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Bill Trott

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