HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Highway Patrol troopers made a pair of arrests for human smuggling while conducting traffic stops for minor violations, according to a report.
Troopers stopped their first suspect at 3:01 p.m. Monday in Hernando County after spotting a Toyota Sienna with a fraudulent temporary tag from Texas.
The FHP said the driver — Juan Carlos Cueva Cano, 25, of Honduras — had no license, and while he was detained, his two passengers admitted that he was paid $1,500 to take the two migrants to Florida.
Cueva Cano was taken to the Hernando County Jail on charges for human smuggling, possessing a counterfeit tag, and not having a valid driver’s license. The two passengers were handed over to U.S. Border Patrol.
Shortly after this first stop, troopers in Sumter County stopped a Mexican man’s van on I-75 for having illegal window tints, the FHP said.
Troopers learned that while the driver in this case, Gustavo Santiago Cruz, 37, of Mexico, did have a valid Washington license, he also had a suspended Florida driver’s license.
After detaining Santiago Cruz, troopers interviewed the four men and learned they were undocumented immigrants from Mexico. Troopers said the passengers admitted to paying Santiago Cruz $200 each to be taken to Florida.
As in the previous case, the passengers were taken to Border Patrol while the driver was booked in the Sumter County Jail for human smuggling and driving with a suspended license.
This pair of arrests comes days after troopers stopped a separate human smuggler in Sumter County who was taking migrants to Tampa.