A man has been charged with trying to sneak a Brazilian man into the United States from Mexico by hiding him in the gasoline tank of an SUV. Jonathan Pantoja brought the 38-year-old inside the modified tank of a 2001 Toyota Sequoia on Tuesday at about 3.15am at a crossing in Calexico, California. Customs and Border Protection said an imaging device spotted anomalies in the SUV's gas tank and under the back seats. The officers continued searching the area before discovering the man hidden inside the partially modified gas tank.
A criminal complaint said the driver, a 40-year-old U.S. citizen, told authorities that he smuggled to pay off a $5,000 debt.
He was arrested and transported to the Imperial County Jail, authorities said. He will face federal charges in connection to the incident, Dailymail reports.