HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Highway Patrol have arrested a man in connection to a possible human smuggling operation Thursday after pulling over a Ford E350 in Hernando County.
FHP troopers said in a news release they stopped the vehicle on I-75 due to dark window tint, a cracked windshield, and the rear of the van sagging due to being overloaded. Jean Yanes Blanco, 25, was pulled over and only gave troopers a Honduran Passport, not a driver’s license.
While standing outside of the vehicle, the trooper stated in the release they saw a multitude of passengers, some sitting on top of each other, in the rear of the van.
According to FHP, Yanes Blanco stated that the group had come from Houston, Texas, and were going to the Kissimmee/Orlando area.
After a check of Yanes’ information revealed he had no driver’s license out of any state. Troopers began to collect ID’s of the passengers in the vehicle. In total, 20 people were in the van, non of which had a U.S. driver’s license and in the U.S. illegally.
Yanes Blanco was charged with 20 counts of smuggling illegal individuals in the state and has a $40,000 bond. The 20 passengers were all turned over to Border Patrol custody.