The driver of a van is facing federal charges after he was found to be transporting a load of illegal aliens. The van was stopped Wednesday in Bradley County by Bradley County deputies.
Jose Luis Guerrero-Hernandez is charged with transporting illegal aliens.
Police said at the scene were three Hispanic females and five Hispanic males, all of whom admitted to being present in the United States illegally. Another six got away, including a second driver.
All eight individuals were taken to the HSI Chattanooga office for administrative processing and interview.
Guerrero-Hernandez said he picked up the group at a Walmart in Houston, Tex., on Tuesday morning. He said he drove part of the way and Jose Arredondo also drove. Arredondo was among those running from the officers, it was stated.
Guerrero-Hernandez said he was to be paid approximately $350 for driving the group from Houston to the various drop off locations, but stated that he had not been paid yet. Each person who was smuggled paid $300. He had $1,061 on him.
Agents asked to search his cellphone. There they discovered text messages about the smuggling venture and previous alien smuggling trips.
He also was found in possession of a ledger that contained names and telephone numbers - some of which corresponded to names and telephone numbers in the text messages - and what appeared to be a tally of payments.
Those who had been in the van confirmed that Guerrero-Hernandez and Arredondo were the drivers.