ST. PETERS, Mo. – A man faces federal charges after police pulled him over in St. Peters and found 10 undocumented immigrants in his minivan.
Prosecutors have charged Francisco Ibarra-Hernadez, 35, of Mexico, with ten counts of transporting illegal aliens and one count of illegal reentry of an alien in connection with the investigation.
The traffic stop happened on Aug. 24 on Interstate 70 in St. Peters. Investigators say a group was heading east on the highway in a 2011 Toyota Sienna and reportedly traveling to Ohio. Police found 11 people inside the minivan, even though the vehicle could legally hold up to eight people.
The front-seat passenger, Ibarra-Hernandez, is under the suspicion of being paid to transport illegal immigrants from Phoenix to job sites around the county. Several of the passengers told police they had no idea where they were being taken.
According to court documents, Ibarra-Hernandez was removed from the United States more than 15 years ago, when he was using another name. Ibarra-Hernandez was indicted on Aug. 31 and expected to plead not guilty to criminal charges next week.