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Missing New Mexico teen arrested after migrants found in vehicle trunk, police say

Leland Munoz Dominguez, 17. Photo: New Mexico State Police

(NewsNation) — A New Mexico teenager who was reported missing was found in a car with three migrants inside, police said.

New Mexico State Police (NMSP) said Leland Antonio Munoz Dominguez, who was reported missing earlier this year, was taken into custody on June 26 near Las Cruces.


Police planned to return the 17-year-old to his grandmother, but an officer heard a knocking sound coming from the trunk of the vehicle, the department wrote in a Facebook post. Police found three migrants inside, including the 16-year-old.

Police made the discovery during a traffic stop on Interstate 25 near a Border Patrol checkpoint.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained the migrants, who were in the country illegally, while local police arrested Dominguez.

The District Attorney’s Office approved three counts of human trafficking and one count of child endangerment. Dominguez was booked into the Dona Ana County Juvenile Detention Center.