HILLJE, Texas – A man has been charged with a third-degree felony after he was caught smuggling four illegal immigrants during a traffic stop, according to Wharton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Unit.
The driver, 26-year-old Orlando Martinez Jr. of McAllen, Texas, was pulled over in a 2014 Jeep Patriot on US 59 North at County Road 313 in Hillje, Texas after several indicators of criminal activity were found.
Officials said they found other passengers riding with Martinez. He allegedly told officials that they were his cousins, but did not know any of their names. The passengers also did not know Martinez’s name. Authorities said the passengers told them that they had entered the United States illegally. Three of them said they were from El Salvador and the fourth was from Honduras.
Martinez was also found in possession of a two-way handheld radio, pepper spray and a knife.
The passengers were detained and later turned over to the custody of USBP.
Martinez was arrested and charged with smuggling of persons. He was taken to the Wharton County Jail.