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Human Smuggling Arrest

Contact: Shannon Cordingly, Public Information Officer, 970-376-7000 

EAGLE COUNTY, CO – On June 13, 2010 at approximately 5:04pm, an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office deputy initiated a traffic stop with a with Ford Econoline van in the eastbound lane of I-70 at mile marker 157.  The traffic stop was initiated because the vehicle failed to move over to the left lane as another deputy was removing a boulder from the roadway.  The deputy discovered 13 illegal immigrants inside the vehicle.  None of whom were able to provide deputies with proper identification.  Human Smuggling

The driver of the van, Alejandro Espinoza-Rodriguez, age 24, of Mexico was arrested and charged with Felony Human Smuggling, No Insurance, Drove Vehicle Without Valid Operators, and Failed to Yield Right of Way to Emergency Vehicle.  Espinoza-Rodriguez planned on delivering the 9 males, 3 women, and one child in various locations on his way to Alabama. 

Espinoza-Rodriguez is currently being held at the Eagle County Detention Facility with a $50,000 bond and has an Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold.  The thirteen other occupants of the vehicle have been placed in (ICE) custody pending deportation to Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.  They will all be deported back (via air) to their respective countries with a federal officer escort to ensure their return to their homeland. Some of them have been previously deported.