POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Following a traffic stop on US Highway 59 on Monday night, a Polk County Texas Department of Public Safety trooper arrested a 31-year-old California man on a smuggling of persons charge for allegedly transporting nine people from Houston to Georgia for $300.
Lucas Vicente-Cruz, of Van Nuys, California, is still being held in the Polk County Jail on a third-degree smuggling of persons for monetary gain charge and a misdemeanor no driver's license charge. His bail has been set at $10,000 for the smuggling charge.
According to a press release, a Polk County DPS trooper stopped a 2006 Toyota minivan that was traveling northbound on US 59 at about 5 p.m. Monday for speeding. When the trooper made contact with the driver, he learned that Vicente-Cruz was traveling with nine passengers - seven men and two women.
After further investigation, the DPS trooper learned that Vicente-Cruz was transporting the nine people from Houston to Georgia for an alleged fee of $300, the press release stated.
Vicente-Cruz was taken into custody at the scene and transported to the Polk County Jail. The passengers were all released into the custody of Immigration and Enforcement officers.