Former LAPD officer pleads guilty to trying to smuggle Mexican citizen in the spare tire well of his car

SAN DIEGO – Former Los Angeles police Officer Carlos Curiel Quezada, Jr., pleaded guilty in federal court today on charges that he attempted to smuggle a Mexican citizen into the United States in the spare tire well of his car at the Otay Mesa border crossing in March of 2015.

DSCF3912His girlfriend, Angelica Godinez, pleaded guilty to lying on an application for court appointed counsel. Both are scheduled to be sentenced on August 26, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

According to court documents, Quezada drove his 2014 Nissan Juke, with Godinez as the front seat passenger, into the United States through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on March 14, 2015, at about 6:30 p.m. 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 the Z-Portal, a non-intrusive imaging device similar to an X-ray, 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.



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