19 Illegal Immigrants Taken Into Custody Near Canton

Late this morning, officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety stopped a 1993 Ford Econoline van for traffic violations.  Reportedly, the stop occurred eastbound on Interstate Highway 20 near Canton, Texas, just east of Dallas.  Upon inspection of the vehicle, the officers suspected the occupants may be illegal aliens.  The DPS officers called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and ICE agents responded within about 20 minutes.

ICE agents questioned the occupants of the van and determined that all 19 people (1 female, 18 males) were illegally in the United States; all have been tentatively identified as citizens of Mexico.  ICE took them into custody and is processing them to determine if any of the aliens have any outstanding criminal warrants, if any have criminal backgrounds, or if any have been previously deported from the United States.

The U.S. Attorney's office has accepted prosecution of the driver of the van.

Some aliens may be asked to remain temporarily in the United States to act as material witnesses against the driver.  The others will be processed for return to their country of origin.

This is an ongoing investigation.