Alleged human cargo scheme foiled by traffic violation

Hillsdale police say a burned-out headlight led them to an alleged human trafficking operation last week.

Hillsdale Police Chief Chip Stalter says one of his officers stopped an SUV after noticing the headlight. There were 12 people packed inside the car and it was determined the driver was being paid to bring the people into the country, Stalter says.

Police say the car started in Mexico with 19 passengers, but some were dropped off in Arizona and Missouri. They say the passengers each paid $2,000 for the trip.

According to Stalter, the driver told police there were some passengers who had not fully paid. ?The driver indicated if they didn't have the cash, he was told that he was supposed to keep the passengers. He didn't elaborate on how he was gonna do that," Stalter says.

The Hillsdale Police Department contacted immigration authorities, who took the passengers into custody. The passengers included four teenagers and a toddler who rode from Arizona on her mother?s lap.

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