SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) — U.S. Border Patrol and Mobile County law enforcement seized five pounds of heroin and apprehended 14 people in an apparent human smuggling attempt along 1-10 Tuesday afternoon.
According to the U.S. Border Patrol, a Mobile County Sheriff’s special operations deputy identified a vehicle drifting across the traffic lane lines. After stopping the vehicle with assistance from USBP Agents, the deputy noticed the smell of alcohol, prompting further questioning and a search of the vehicle.
The search uncovered six bricks wrapped in black electrical tape that had been hidden behind a compartment near the front dash area of the vehicle. The deputy punctured one of the objects with a knife, and the contents tested positive for heroin. The driver and the heroin were immediately placed in the custody of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
Later Tuesday, during a routine traffic stop on I-65, a Saraland police officer noticed the vehicle was overly packed with passengers with no U.S. identification. The officer called Mobile USBP for assistance. Agents arrived and found all 13 of the passengers had entered the United States illegally. With this information, the passengers and the driver, who claimed to work for a transportation service, were taken into USBP custody. The case is now being investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations Task Force.
“We can never overstate the importance of relationships amongst local agencies,” U.S. Border Patrol New Orleans Sector Chief Greg Bovino said. “The value of partnerships with local law enforcement in highway interdiction efforts continues to set the standard for excellence in the mutual mission of ridding our communities of dangerous drugs and criminals. The local relationships equal security for our communities and security for our nation.”