The son of U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, a Panhandle Democrat, is facing federal charges of smuggling illegal immigrants after being stopped by Border Patrol agents in Arizona.
John F. Boyd, 30, admitted picking up the passengers in the desert, authorities said. He was stopped Sunday at a border checkpoint near Willcox and a search dog indicated people might be hiding in the bed of the white Ford pickup he was driving.
Agents found two people under a piece of plywood, according to a federal complaint, and two more adults lying on the floorboard behind the front seat. A 6-year-old girl was in the passenger seat.
Methamphetamine and a loaded Beretta pistol were found, according to the complaint. It did not indicate who the items belonged to and no drug or weapons charges have been filed against Boyd. He has a preliminary hearing this morning in Tucson.
"This is an ongoing investigation," said Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona.
Boyd acknowledged he knew the group had entered the United States illegally, the complaint stated.
Two members of the group told border agents they walked into the United States and waited at a trailer for two days until they were picked up.
They said they were going to pay $3,000 to be taken to their final destination, according to the complaint. The girl's parents were already in the country and, after being contacted by authorities, they picked her up.
The Democratic congressman, who is seeking a seventh term this November, said in a statement: "This is a family matter that my family and I will be dealing with privately. John is a grown man and must face the consequences for his actions, but he has the love and support of his family."
Boyd, an influential leader of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats in Congress, is being challenged by Panama City Republican Mark Mulligan.