Traffic stops in Hernando and Sumter counties on Monday, Nov. 8, resulted in the drivers’ arrests and the passengers being handed over to the U.S. Border Patrol.

According to a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol, in the first incident troopers pulled over a 2013 Toyota Sienna in Hernando County at 3:01 p.m for a fraudulent Texas temporary tag violation.  

The unlicensed driver was detained while interviews were conducted with two passengers in the vehicle. They said the driver was paid $1,500 to transport them to Florida. The passengers, who are undocumented aliens, were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol while the driver, Juan Carlos Cueva Cano, 25, of Honduras, was arrested and taken to the Hernando County Jail for human smuggling, no valid driver license, no vehicle registration and possessing a counterfeit tag. 

Shortly after the first traffic stop, troopers at 3:07 PM made another traffic stop on a 2009 Ford E-350 van on I-75 in SumterCounty for a window tint violation.

The driver, Gustavo Santiago Cruz, 37, of Mexico, had a valid Washington driver license, but had a suspended Florida license, and he was detained. 

Interviews with four male passengers revealed all were undocumented aliens from Mexico paying the driver $200 each for transport to Florida. 

The passengers were delivered to the U.S. Border Patrol while the driver was arrested and taken to the Sumter County Jail for human smuggling and driving with a suspended license.