News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

August 28, 2013

Traffic stop leads to discovery of undocumented aliens

CLOVERDALE — An Arizona man was jailed in Putnam County on Monday night after being stopped by Indiana State Police and found to be transporting six persons whom police described as illegal aliens.

In a press release, ISP identified the driver as Luciano Cax Ortiz, 24, of Phoenix. Ortiz faces charges of transporting illegal aliens for gain, a class-A misdemeanor; harboring illegal aliens for gain, also a class-A misdemeanor; and operating without ever obtaining a license, a class-C misdemeanor.

The passenger van Ortiz was driving was pulled over near the 45-mile marker of eastbound Interstate 70 at 10:32 p.m. on suspicion of following too closely.

 Indiana State Police Trooper Yan Dravigne said that Ortiz provided a Guatemala ID card and Guatemala passport, but no driver’s license. Three of the six other occupants had no identification, and three others  had only Mexico credentials.

According to the release, ISP believed Ortiz was transporting the six passengers to New York City.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was contacted, ISP said in its release, but the federal agency was unable to offer assistance with the six passengers. The six passengers and the vehicle were transported to a nearby truck stop and released from ISP custody, according to the release.

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