FHP: Man tried to smuggle 6 illegal immigrants to Tampa

Troopers say men each paid $200 to be transported to Florida

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol arrested a man on Tuesday they say was smuggling six others, illegally in the country from Mexico, into Florida.

Troopers conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 75 in Sumter County after spotting a vehicle with deeply tinted windows.

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Inside the vehicle were seven men, including five who could not be seen through the windows.

When troopers questioned the driver of the vehicle, he admitted to not having a driver’s license. The man in the front passenger seat, identified as Simon Mendoza Robles, said he was the owner of the vehicle, but troopers said he did not know the other men in the vehicle, including the driver himself.

The FHP said the driver and the other passengers all admitted to have crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona illegally and made their way to Alabama. Troopers say the passengers each claimed to have paid Mendoza Robles $200 to be transported from Alabama to Tampa.

According to the FHP incident report, Mendoza Robles claimed a man named “Sergio” dropped people off at a trailer home in Tuscaloosa, then contacted Mendoza Robles to pick them up.

Mendoza Robles was arrested on smuggling illegal individuals into the state and human trafficking.

A United States Border Patrol agent took the six immigrants into custody.


About the Author:

Christie Zizo joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.