PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WKBN) – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Detroit Sector arrested a Mexican citizen in conjunction with an alien smuggling case over the weekend in Ohio.

On Saturday morning, Border Patrol agents from the Sandusky Bay station were notified by the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OHSP) of a possible smuggling event. The agents responded to OHSP and met with the Ohio trooper who had pulled a Toyota Sienna over for a cracked windshield but found a total of 11 people in the vehicle, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Agents questioned all people in the van, all admitted they did not possess any legal documents to allow them to be or remain in the United States, according to CBP.

During a search of the vehicle, agents and troopers reported finding a large quantity of cash hidden in the driver’s clothing and wallet. Once processed at the Border Patrol station in Port Clinton, it was discovered that the driver had been previously removed from the United States more than 40 times since 2006, according to CBP.

While being interviewed, passengers stated that they or their family members had paid for them to be driven from Albuquerque, New Mexico to various states along the east coast.

The Mexican citizen allegedly caught smuggling is being presented to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio for prosecution on an alien smuggling charge. The remaining people are being held pending their removal proceedings.

“I am proud of our relationships with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, as our combined efforts continue to disrupt local and transnational criminal organizations,” said Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley. 

Anyone with information on suspicious activity is asked to call the Detroit Sector Border Patrol Border Watch telephone number toll-free at 800-537-3220.