A Los Angeles police officer was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border when he allegedly tried to smuggle a Mexican citizen into the country in the trunk of a car.
The cop and another woman were collared at the Otay Mesa, California border crossing on Saturday evening, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release. The Los Angeles Times identified the pair as LAPD officer Carlos Curiel Quezada Jr., 34, and Angelica Godinez, 31.
At about 6:30 p.m., Quezada and Godinez made it through an initial checkpoint in a 2014 Nissan Juke, according to the release. But CBP officers moved them aside for further inspection in a Z-Portal, which is an imaging device similar to an X-ray. The device found "anomalies in the rear cargo area of the vehicle," and there officers found a 26-year-old man, identified as Antanasio Perez-Avalos, who allegedly had no legal ability to enter the country.
Quezada and Godinez were charged federally with bringing a person into the country without presenting them to an immigration officer. Both pleaded not guilty. Quezada was also put on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation with the LAPD, according to the LA Times.
The arrests come on the heels of another LAPD officer being linked to a crime, according to NBC News. Henry Solis, a rookie assigned to the department's Devonshire Division, was named Friday as a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old Ontario, California man.