Man arrested on I-75 in Alachua County facing human smuggling charges
Troopers found the man was smuggling 10 undocumented immigrants when he was pulled over because his windows were tinted too dark.
ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) - Carlos Velasco-Mancilla was driving a chevy suburban with 10 undocumented immigrants inside down I-75 in Alachua County.
But just before Ocala, he ran into unexpected trouble.
The suburban was heading from Oklahoma to Ocala south on I-75 when it was pulled over because its windows were tinted too dark.
When the trooper went to question Velasco-Mancilla, he noticed 10 passengers in the car, including three in the back.
Troopers say they believe Velasco-Mancilla has ties in Mexico and he’s part of a group that moves undocumented immigrants throughout the u-s.
An FHP representative said they deal with multiple cases of human smuggling each week.
“It’s not uncommon,” said Patrick Riordan, “it’s actually something that we’re routinely finding on a regular basis...I certainly think that there’s trends that there are people that are in this business.”
Last May, TV20 reported on a similar story when a man was found with two Mexican immigrants in his car.
One traveler I spoke with says she is concerned about a larger trend of human trafficking in the county.
“We get enough amber alerts that children are being picked up and smuggled and taken away,” said Cheryl Straub. “The heart breaks, as a parent that’s got to be awful. It’s just awful.”
Some of the passengers paid Velasco-Mancilla to take them from Oklahoma to Ocala.
Others had been picked up at the border or at multiple locations on the way to Florida.
Velasco-Mancilla knew all of them were in the country illegally.
The arresting trooper requested a high bond due to the likelihood of him fleeing the country.
His bond was set at $102 thousand and he is in the Alachua County Jail on charges of human smuggling.
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