FHP: Human smugglers, often called “coyotes” behind local human trafficking arrest

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ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — They are often referred to “coyotes,” people who are paid to smuggle people across the Mexico border to the United States. And that’s what investigators say two men were doing when they were arrested in Escambia County, Florida.  More details have emerged following the arrest of two Mexican men for human trafficking on New Year’s Eve.

On Tuesday, a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper stopped a 2011 Cadillac Escalade on I-10 near mile marker 3 for a traffic violation. During the stop, the FHP says troopers found the driver nor the passengers were linked to the vehicle they were in.

After the driver, Julio Ceaser Aguilar-Moren, was found to have no valid driver’s license, he was asked to exit the vehicle, according to his arrest report. While waiting for a Spanish-speaking trooper, the six other people in the car were also asked to get out of the SUV.

The report says a K-9 trooper got consent from the driver to search the car. That’s when troopers found two other people lying down flat in the vehicle, the report said.

Inside the vehicle, troopers found a ledger with the vehicle occupants’ names and a destination in which they would be dropped off.

The seven people were planned to be dropped off in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and New Jersey.

After debriefing seven of the occupants, it was discovered they were to pay Aguilar-Moren and passenger Jose Ivan Morales Hernandez after they were successfully transported. They planned to get a job in their destination states upon arrival, the report said.

All illegal immigrants, the occupants were taken into custody by border control and taken to Mobile for processing, according to authorities.

Aguilar-Morden and Hernandez were both charged with human trafficking.

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