COLUMBUS, N.M. -- Authorities say an immigrant suspected of entering the country illegally attempted to make his journey in an unusual but hot place -- a shipment of red chile.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at a New Mexico border checkpoint said the man was discovered Thursday face down among a commercial load of the spicy stuff.
Columbus Port Director Robert Reza says next to the "highly intoxicated" 35-year-old was a bottle of tequila.
The man, who authorities described as a Mexican national, told agents that he climbed into the commercial hopper while it was being staged in Mexico with hopes of catching a ride to Chicago. But agents said he got less than 100 yards into New Mexico before he was discovered.
The red chile shipment was later released.