DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – Multiple people are now in custody after what authorities said was a human smuggling investigation in DeKalb County.
Deputies of the DeKalb County Criminal Interdiction team conducted a traffic stop near the 218 mile marker of I-59 on June 19 at 10:30 a.m.
Ten immigrants from El Salvador, Ecuador, and Guatemala were found in the vehicle, deputies said.
Officials said they believe it was a smuggling operation.
The Department of Homeland Security was called to the scene and the suspects were taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.
Last month the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office took nine people into custody following a traffic stop on I-59. Investigators believe the people inside were part of a human smuggling operation from the southern border.
The investigation is ongoing and authorities said federal charges are pending.
“While it may seem that they were trying to start a new life in our country, these people are exploited and taken advantage of,” said DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden in a news release. “Some have to pay thousands of dollars to be smuggled in and are made to work for inhumane wages.”