ERIE, PA. – Agents assigned to the Erie U.S. Border Patrol Station arrested a citizen of Guatemala while assisting the Pennsylvania State Police and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) during a traffic stop investigation.
On April 8, a Pennsylvania State Trooper contacted Border Patrol and HSI after suspecting vehicle occupants might be involved in human trafficking. The trooper stopped the vehicle for operating with unregistered license plates. It was discovered that the driver and front passenger were in possession of approximately $2,100 in U.S. currency.
Responding to the call, Border Patrol and HSI agents determined that the individuals unlawfully entered the country on the southwest border and had been living illegally in the U.S. ever since.
One individual admitted to being a citizen of Guatemala, and to having been removed from the U.S. on four prior occasions. This individual was transported to the Erie Border Patrol Station for processing and removal from the country. “Human trafficking rings can be found throughout the U.S., and Border Patrol agents work vigorously to detect and disrupt these organizations wherever they are found,” said Agent Dean Mandel.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-331-0353 toll free.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.