Florida Highway Patrol arrests two men in two days in separate human smuggling cases

The Florida Highway Patrol arrested two people this week for smuggling others into the state, according to incident reports from the agency.

A trooper in Sumter County on Wednesday pulled over a Ford Explorer with an expired temporary Texas tag and a crack on the windshield obstructing the driver’s view, according to one of the reports.
The trooper spoke with the driver, Jose Juarez, who said he was traveling to Houston from Florida. The passenger in the car, who gave a Mexican passport without stamps and Mexican ID card when he was asked for identification, “seemed overtly nervous during the interaction,” the trooper noted.
      A US Border Patrol Agent confirmed the passenger was in the US illegally and had been previously deported, according to the incident report.
        Juarez told authorities he had only spoken to the passenger by phone, had met him recently and was not sure if he was in the US legally, according to the report. Juarez was arrested and taken to the Sumter County Jail, where he is being held on a $ 10,000 bond for smuggling, according to jail records.
          It’s unclear if he has an attorney.
          The car’s passenger was taken into custody by the border patrol agent, according to the incident report.
          The same trooper on Thursday stopped a white Chevrolet in neighboring Hernando County for having windows with darker than legal tint, according to a second incident report.
          The driver provided the trooper with a Mexican passport and an expired Mexican driver’s license and said there were eight other people in the car, who were all wearing “clean fluorescent yellow shirts,” the report noted.
          Authorities searched the vehicle and found ledgers which included names, destinations and prices, and several bags of clean yellow shirts, among other items, according to the incident report.
          The driver, Javier Palma-Jenaro, told authorities he picked up the eight passengers in Arizona on Tuesday after receiving a call asking him to drive a group of undocumented people to Florida, something he said he has done several times before, according to the report. Palma-Jenaro told troopers he makes $ 250 per person.
          Palma-Jenaro was arrested on several counts of smuggling, according to the report. He is being held in the Hernando County Jail on a $ 90,500 bond, according to jail records.
          It’s unclear if he has an attorney.
            The arrests come just days after the deaths of 53 migrants who were found in sweltering conditions in a semitruck in San Antonio, Texas, some of whom may have been younger than 18.
            Two men have been charged in connection with those deaths, CNN previously reported.

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