EL PASO, Texas -

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations found a man lying face down in a shipment of red chile at the Columbus, N.M. port of entry.

"CBP agriculture specialists were initiating an examination of a commercial shipment of chile when they found a man sprawled out on top of the load," said Columbus Port Director Robert Reza. "There was a bottle of tequila next to him and he appeared to be highly intoxicated when we encountered the subject."
                                                                                         
The 35-year-old Mexican man told CBP officers he climbed into the commercial hopper while it was being staged in Mexico with the hope of catching a ride to Chicago.

CBP officials say his trip lasted about 100 yards when CBP officers found him.

The man, whose name has not been released, was processed for expedited removal and returned to Mexico. CBP agriculture specialists continued their exam without incident and released the shipment and notified the importer that a man was in the shipment.