PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers arrested an alleged smuggler with 11 noncitizens in the minivan they were driving on the Ohio Turnpike on Saturday.
A trooper pulled the minivan over for a cracked windshield and speeding violation near the Fremont/Port Clinton exit, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a press release.
The trooper found 11 other people inside the seven-seat van. The press release claims that after U.S. Border Patrol agents questioned the 11 people, they admitted they did not have any documents allowing them to be in the U.S.
A "large quantity of cash hidden in the driver’s clothing and wallet" was found during the arrest and search of the vehicle, the press release said.
The driver, a Mexican citizen, had previously been removed from the U.S. more than 40 times since 2006 and is charged with smuggling.
The press release claims that during interviews, the 11 noncitizens said they or family members had paid for them to be transported from New Mexico to various east coast states. They are "being held pending their removal proceedings."
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