FHP makes fourth human smuggling arrest in one week

Hernando County

(Florida Highway Patrol photo)

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A fourth human smuggling case was uncovered Thursday, according to a tweet from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers say the incident took place along southbound I-75 near Milepost 305 in Hernando County.

Troopers stopped 20-year-old Alex Hernandez Pacheco, of Mexico in Hernando County after spotting a Chrysler Town and Country with darker than legal window tint on the rear side windows.

Hernandez Pacheco admitted that he was paid $300 to take migrants from Arizona to Florida and that he did not know who the vehicle he was driving belonged to.

A search of Hernandez Pacheco’s vehicle revealed a large sum of money and gas receipts from Arizona, Oklahoma, and Georgia over the last three days.

The five other people in the car were all from Guatemala and in the United States illegally and were handed over to U.S. Border Patrol.

Hernandez Pacheco was arrested for human smuggling and driving without a license and taken to the Hernando County jail.

On Nov. 5, Troopers made their first of four arrests when they stopped Esvil Miguel Soto Perez, 23, of Phoenix, Arizona, on I-75 for his illegal tints. Troopers said there were four other Hispanics in the SUV at the time.

A further investigation found that each passenger had paid Soto Perez to smuggle them to the Tampa area after entering the U.S. illegally.

Days later, troopers arrested another pair of human smugglers in Hernando and Sumter Counties.

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