Smuggling attempt involving swimming pool at Border Patrol checkpoint stopped

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent and K-9 security dog keep watch at a checkpoint station, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

One U.S. man didn’t make a splash with Border Patrol after it was discovered that he was attempting to smuggle people concealed in a swimming pull he was hauling as a favor for a stranger he met at Wal-Mart.

Jorge Christopher Perez was arrested Monday at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint after agents discovered six people illegally present in the country hiding inside a fiberglass swimming pool being hauled by Perez.

According to the criminal complaint, agents encountered Perez around 4:45 a.m. in a black Ford F-350 hauling a flatbed trailer that was loaded with the pool.

Perez told agents he was heading to Alice to drop off the pool as his dad had sold it to someone living in the city.

The complaint states that Perez’s eyes grew wide when he saw a service canine approaching his vehicle and began to get jittery as he moved “his head side-to-side scanning in different directions.”

It was during the secondary inspection that the agents found six concealed humans inside the swimming pool who were determined to be from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

Perez told investigators that “he encountered an unknown person at a Wal-Mart in Mission who asked him to drive a truck and a flatbed trailer loaded with a pool to Alice as a favor without being paid.

“Perez also stated that he did not know about anything or anyone that might have been in the pool,” the complaint said. “Perez stated he agreed to do the favor.”

He then said that he picked up the vehicle in Mission and pumped gas at a station on Conway Street before driving north toward Alice.

Perez is set to appear before U.S Magistrate Judge Mitchel Neurock In Corpus Christi federal court Thursday morning for his detention hearing.