PORT CLINTON, Ohio - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to Detroit Sector arrested a Mexican citizen in conjunction with an alien smuggling case over the weekend.
On Saturday morning, March 11, Border Patrol agents from the Sandusky Bay station were notified by Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) of a possible smuggling event they had encountered. Agents responded to milepost 91 on the Ohio Turnpike and met with the OHSP Trooper. The trooper had pulled the vehicle, a Toyota Sienna, over for a cracked windshield and found a total of 11 subjects in a vehicle which only had seating for seven. Agents questioned all the people in the van, and all admitted they did not possess any documents that allowed them to be or remain in the United States. Each passenger was interviewed at the scene and agents confirmed that they all had entered unlawfully into the United States.
During the arrest and search of the vehicle, agents and troopers found a large quantity of cash hidden in the driver’s clothing and wallet. During processing at the Border Patrol station in Port Clinton, it was discovered that the driver had been previously removed from the United States more than 40 times since 2006. During interviews, the passengers stated they or their family members had paid for them to be driven from Albuquerque, New Mexico to various states along the east coast including Pennsylvania; Maryland; Virginia; Tennessee; North Carolina; and Florida.
The Mexican citizen is being presented to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio for prosecution of 8 USC 1324- Alien Smuggling. The remaining individuals are being held pending their removal proceedings.
“This is yet another great example of how Detroit Sector’s strong partnerships help to keep not only our communities safe, but areas all over the Midwest and eastern seaboard. Without these partnerships, this human smuggling event that originated on the southwest border would have likely been successful and the repeated disregard of our laws by the smuggler would have been ultimately rewarded. I am proud of our relationships with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, as our combined efforts continue to disrupt local and transnational criminal organizations,” said Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley.
Anyone with information on suspicious activity is asked to call the Detroit Sector Border Patrol Border Watch telephone number toll-free at 800-537-3220.