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Traffic stop in North Carolina prompts federal investigation

A routine traffic stop on Interstate 85 on the afternoon of Oct. 29 led to a federal investigation into human trafficking according to local media reports. The Anderson County Sheriff's Office is said to have called in agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when the identification documents produced by the occupants of a van that had been pulled over for erratic driving raised the suspicion of a deputy.

According to an ACSO report, the van was pulled over at about 4 p.m. after a deputy on highway patrol observed it swerving across the roadway. The situation escalated when the deputy discovered that one of the van's occupants was a person of interest to ICE. That person was later taken into custody by ICE for reentering the country illegally. Reports indicate that two other passengers were transported to a nearby bus station and the driver of the van was released.

Police say that the traffic stop took place about halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta on a busy stretch of Interstate 85 that is popular with drug and human traffickers. Two men convicted of running a drug distribution network that used Interstate 85 to transport methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine to states as far away as Texas and Louisiana were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017.

Attorneys with federal criminal defense experience may seek to resolve cases involving serious drug or human trafficking charges expeditiously because the mandatory minimum sentences for these crimes are usually severe. Attorneys may be especially motivated to reach a quick negotiated plea agreement when several defendants are involved as prosecutors might be reluctant to show leniency to their clients when others have already shown a willingness to cooperate.

Source: The Anderson Independent Mail, Federal agents are investigating after a truck was stopped on Interstate 85, sheriff says, Nikie Mayo, Oct. 29, 2018

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Super Lawyers Board Certified Specialist | North Carolina State Bar | Federal / State Criminal Law
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