WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — After initiating a traffic stop, a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) found nine occupants of a vehicle that were in the U.S. illegally.

The driver, 21-year-old Hugo Giovani Lopez-Gomez, was friends with the passenger, 22-year-old Gamaliel Alvarez-Hernandez. Gomez was paying Hernandez to help transports the occupants to two major cities in Florida, according to a news release from the FHP.

Officers also determined that Gomez was alledlgey paid $500 per individual to smuggle them into the U.S. Gomez and Hernandez were both charged with seven counts of human smuggling.

Last week, the FHP began to crack down on human trafficking by hosting a human trafficking awareness operation. The operation raised awareness about human trafficking and focused on patrolling the roadside, where commercial vehicles are used to conduct human trafficking.