SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The U.S. Border Patrol says surveillance cameras spotted smugglers cutting a hole in the border barrier near Calexico, California, and with help from police south of the border, stopped a large smuggling attempt.

A group of 17 migrants were found inside and in the back of a truck painted to look just like a Border Patrol vehicle.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this happened early Saturday morning in an area five miles from the Calexico Port of Entry.

Mexicali Police detained 17 migrants riding in a ‘cloned’ Border Patrol truck before crossing into U.S. territory. (Courtesy Mexicali Police)

The agency said: “Transnational criminal organizations profit by going to great lengths to smuggle people and contraband into the United States. Impersonating law enforcement officials is both reckless and illegal and is just one example of the smuggling tactics used by these criminal enterprises. CBP law enforcement personnel are aware of the tactics and remain vigilant for this type of illegal activity.”         

The 17 migrants were detained, and the truck was seized by Mexican authorities, according to Border Patrol.

Damage made to the border barrier has reportedly been repaired.