A Los Angeles police officer and his girlfriend accused of trying to smuggle a man into the U.S. in the trunk of his car have been indicted, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Carlos Curiel Quezada Jr. and his girlfriend, Angelica Godinez, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they tried to smuggle a Mexican citizen into the United States at the Otay Mesa border crossing in March.
According to court documents, Quezada drove his 2014 Nissan Juke, with Godinez as the front seat passenger, into the U.S. through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on March 14.
They presented their U.S. passports and told a Customs and Border Protection officer they had nothing to declare. The officer decided to refer them aside for a more intensive inspection.
During the inspection, officers examined the car with a giant x-ray machine and detected something unusual in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. Antanasio Perez Avalos, a 26-year-old Mexican national, was found in a compartment in the spare-tire area. All three individuals were then taken into custody and interviewed.
Two days later, Quezada and Godinez were charged in a one-count complaint with "bringing in illegal aliens without presentation."
LAPD officials have said Quezada will not be returning to duty until this case is adjudicated — both on the criminal side and after an internal LAPD probe.
Few details were revealed in court about Quezada’s relationship with the man in the trunk or with Godinez.