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Illegal migrant found amid paint buckets at San Ysidro border crossing

December 17, 2010 |  8:39 am


A 54-year-old Mexican national was found attempting to enter the U.S. illegally by hiding amid paint buckets in the back of a pickup truck, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The buckets had holes cut so that the man's arms, legs, body and chest could fit inside in the hope that agents at the San Ysidro border crossing would not notice him, officials said.

Instead, a drug-sniffing dog found something strange in the back of the 2004 Chevrolet truck amid the paint rollers, buckets and other equipment.

The man attempting to cross illegally was apprehended and will be a witness against the driver before being returned to Mexico. The driver, 31, a U.S. citizen and resident of Los Angeles, will face smuggling charges for the Wednesday incident, officials said.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Buckets that officials say were used to hide a migrant entering the U.S. Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection