Driver Of Van With 8 Illegals Caught On I-24 Is Facing Federal Charge

Friday, March 28, 2014

The driver of a van carrying eight illegals is facing a federal charge in Chattanooga.

Gervacio Gaspar Montejo is charged with transporting illegal aliens.

On March 5, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Cory Stewart reported a vehicle stop in progress that he believed to be a possible alien smuggling load. The vehicle was a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban which he had stopped at I-24 eastbound mile marker 141 for violation of registration law due to the date of registration on the vehicle license tag being covered and not openly visible.

Agents and officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrived on the scene at approximately 3:30 p.m. and took custody of the driver and eight passengers.

Agents conducted interviews of each of the eight passengers from the Chevy Suburban. All occupants other than the driver admitted to having recently crossed the United States border illegally and to traveling from a safe house in Houston to various places, including Atlanta and New York City.

Of the eight occupants, six claimed to have paid for their smuggling fees from Guatemala to Houston before their departure. One occupant said that he paid the driver of the suburban $600 for transport from the house the smugglers were holding him in Houston with the understanding he would owe another $400 upon arrival to his destination.

Agents checked out two cell phones belonging to the driver. Using the phones, they said they were able to tie the phones to as many as six human smuggling cases.

Montejo, who is also from Guatemala, had $2,500 in his shoe.

Upon a personal search of MONTEJO, SA Mullins

Agents said Montejo finally admitted he would pay the persons at the house where the smuggled aliens were being held, also known as a "stash house," to "release" the smuggled aliens to himself to be transported to various U.S. cities. He would then accept payment of between $200 and $400 depending on the distance the smuggled alien required for their respective travels.

Montejo had one felony conviction in California, it was found.

He was deported in 2012.

PHOTOS: Swearing In Ceremony At Convention Center

County officials were sworn in during ceremonies Tuesday morning at the Convention Center (click for more)

Woman's Body Found In River Was Latasha Nichols

Family members say the woman's body found in the Hiwassee River was that of 34-year-old Latasha Nichols. She was reported missing last month. The family said DNA testing was conclusive that the body was hers. Family members say they want to know what caused her death. The viewing will be Wednesday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Jim Rush Funeral Homes in Cleveland. The ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library - And Response

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Silverdale Dishes Out 3-1 District 5-A Volleyball Victory

Silverdale Baptist Academy’s volleyball team served up a four-set victory over District 5-A rival Chattanooga Schools for the Arts and Sciences on Tuesday. The Lady Seahawks got a combined 17 service aces from Molly Rumfelt and Caroline Couch and posted a 3-1 win over the Lady Patriots at Silverdale. The set scores were 25-15, 25-18, 22-25, 25-11. Rumfelt, the only senior ... (click for more)

Uninspired Ooltewah Sweeps Soddy Daisy In Key 5-AAA Match

It's a real challenge for a high school volleyball team to get up emotionally and physically to play the same team two matches in a row, especially when the first one was somewhat lopsided. But that was what the Ooltewah Lady Owls had to do Tuesday evening when they visited District 5-AAA rival Soddy Daisy. Ooltewah improved to 12-2 overall and 4-0 in 5-AAA with the three-set ... (click for more)