CHP Stops Van With 20 Illegal Immigrants

A California Highway Patrol officer who pulled a Chevrolet van to the side of the Riverside Freeway on Tuesday for weaving found 20 illegal immigrants inside, officials said.

The officer initially saw the 1977 van weaving at 8:50 a.m. as it drove west on the Riverside Freeway at Imperial Highway, and pulled the van over west of North Acacia Street, CHP spokeswoman Angel Johnson said.

The van's windows were darkly tinted, and 19 of the passengers were sitting on the floor in the back. A 20th person was in the passenger seat.

The group ranged in age from 18 to 37 and included four women, Johnson said. The driver identified himself as Juan Flores Morales, 20, of National City.

"They all had different stories," Johnson said. "They were going to work in the fields, they were going to Santa Ana. None of them had the same story."

Johnson said the officer noticed that many of the people had bags of clothing. He notified Border Patrol agents, who took all 21 people into custody.

The immigrants were determined to be in the country illegally and were processed for return to Mexico, a Border Patrol spokesman at the San Clemente checkpoint said.

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