PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WTVG) - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a citizen of El Salvador on suspicion of alien smuggling on Monday afternoon.
According to the U.S. Border Patrol, agents from the Sandusky Bay station were contacted by Ohio State Highway Patrol around 1:00 p.m. requesting assistance near Stony Ridge, Ohio with a vehicle they had stopped. After being questioned by the responding Border Patrol agent, the driver and each of the seven passengers admitted to being in the United States illegally and that they did not have any documents allowing them to be or remain in the United States.
One of the passengers was in possession of a large amount of cash. During processing at the Border Patrol station in Port Clinton he admitted that, after illegally crossing into the U.S., he had been paid by a subject in Houston, TX to transport people who had recently crossed the border to various locations in the Midwest and Northeast.
According to the Border Patrol, record checks revealed that the El Salvadoran man has prior convictions for reckless driving and driving while intoxicated. He had also been previously removed from the United States in May 2012. The case has been forwarded to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio for prosecution. The other seven individuals are being held pending their removal proceedings.
“This arrest is a result of our working relationship with other law enforcement agencies in the area,” said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Travis Darling.
“These partnerships are valuable because we work together to prevent criminal activity in our communities. I am proud of all the agents in Detroit Sector who work daily as the front line of defense for our country.”
Anyone with information on suspicious activity is asked to call the Detroit Sector Border Patrol BorderWatch telephone number toll-free at 800-537-3220.