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Man hides in gas tank to try to sneak into US

Border patrol says imaging device spotted anomalies in the SUV's gas tank

Image via CBP.gov.
Image via CBP.gov.

CALEXICO, Calif. – 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 allegedly brought the 38-year-old inside the modified tank of a 2001 Toyota Sequoia early Tuesday at a crossing in Calexico, California. 

READ: Texas man gets serious jail time over smuggled shoes

Customs and Border Protection says an imaging device spotted anomalies in the SUV’s gas tank and back seats.  

A criminal complaint says the driver — a 40-year-old U.S. citizen — told authorities that he smuggled to pay off a $5,000 debt. 

His attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.