Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County Sheriff’s Office intercepts alleged human smuggling vehicle

Stephens County Sheriff’s Office intercepts alleged human smuggling vehicle
January 06
16:17 2022

At about 10:30 a.m. this morning, Thursday, Jan. 6, Stephens County Deputy Ryan Drake conducted a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 180 near State Highway 67 for a minor traffic violation and found 13 men inside the eastbound vehicle, transitioning the stop into a human smuggling investigation, according to a media release from the sheriff’s office.

Stephens County Sheriff Kevin Roach said the investigation revealed that all 13 men in the Toyota Sienna van, including the driver, were from Mexico and Guatemala and had entered the United States illegally. U.S. Customs and Border Protection was contacted and confirmed that all of the men were illegal immigrants, he said in the release.

The vehicle was impounded, and all of the men were detained in the Stephens County Jail on immigration detainers issued by the U.S. Custom and Border Protection Agency and were picked up by the agency later today, Roach said.

Roach, Constable Wayne McMullen, Breckenridge Police Department Officer Justin Shockley and Officer Trent McLane assisted in the investigation.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be completing the investigation and will determine if federal charges are filed against the human smuggler.

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