16 Smuggled Hispanics Found In Van During I-24 Traffic Stop At Manchester; Driver Charged In Chattanooga Federal Court

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A traffic stop on a van on I-24 near Manchester, Tn., has turned up a driver and 16 Hispanics that authorities said were being smuggled into the U.S.

The driver, Jesus Andres Lujan Jr., is facing federal smuggling charges after he and those in the van were taken to Chattanooga to be interviewed.

The 2004 Chevrolet Express van was stopped by a state trooper on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Lujan said he believed all 16 individuals crammed into the van were in the U.S. illegally.

He said he was being paid $50 each to transport them from Houston, Tex.

Lujan said he was dealing in Houston with Javier Torrez. Authorities said the insurance on the van was in the name of Torrez.

Lujan said the individuals were already in the van when he arrived in Houston to drive them north. He said he did not personally know any of them.

He said he was suppose to take them to a Waffle House at Doraville, Ga. However, authorities said Lujan's cell phone was on a table while he was being interviewed and agents could see messages from Torrez about a delivery to Charlotte, N.C.

Lujan said he thought the "stash house" for the individuals was somewhere near I-45 North and Gulf Bank in Houston.

Three of the individuals in the van were interviewed. They said they thought they were being taken to Atlanta to work. They said none of them had yet paid their smuggling fees.

They said members of the smuggling organization had threatened them multiple times and on occasions had taken their shoes to prevent them from escaping.

They said Lujan had not threatened them, but they said he appeared to be very familiar with how the smuggling operation worked.

 

 


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Hamilton County Has 1 New COVID Death, 52 New Cases; Tennessee Has 1,514 New Cases, 42 More COVID Deaths

Georgia Has 114 New Coronavirus Deaths; 1,867 New Cases


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALLEN, WHITNEY ASHTON 5420 BROWN CHAPEL LN CHATTANOOGA, 37415 Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ASSAULT --- ... (click for more)

Hamilton County reported 52 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 54 patients hospitalized and 13 in Intensive Care Units. Ten others were in the hospital with suspected COVID. Of those hospitalized, ... (click for more)

Georgia state health officials reported on Thursday there have been 114 additional deaths due to the coronavirus. The current total is 15,462. There were 1,867 new cases, as that total reached ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALLEN, WHITNEY ASHTON 5420 BROWN CHAPEL LN CHATTANOOGA, 37415 Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ASSAULT --- ANDERSON, DENNIS MILTON 1316 BRADT ST APT A CHATTANOOGA, 37406 Age at Arrest: 63 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT --- BARBEE, JOSHUA 4810 BLUE BELL ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Has 1 New COVID Death, 52 New Cases; Tennessee Has 1,514 New Cases, 42 More COVID Deaths

Hamilton County reported 52 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 54 patients hospitalized and 13 in Intensive Care Units. Ten others were in the hospital with suspected COVID. Of those hospitalized, 19 are county residents. The new total of cases in Hamilton County is 40,843. There was one more death from the virus in the county reported since Wednesday, a white female ... (click for more)

Opinion

Shallowford Road Walmart Closing Is Representative Of Food Apartheid - And Response

The Unity Group is saddened and dismayed to hear of the closing of the Walmart Grocery store on Shallowford Road. While we recognize that the overall goal is for businesses to reach a level that obtains profit maximization, in our estimation, this recent closure is indicative of a problem that has continued to be persistent in marginalized and disadvantaged communities for more ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Not A Christian?

The email read: “I cannot comprehend how killing unborn babies and using their tissue in medicine is obedience to Christ.” Earlier in the email the writer acknowledged that I publicly state I am a Christian “… then I see a huge problem with your characterization of (the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as a ‘Godsend.’) “Killing babies for their parts is not from God, it ... (click for more)

Sports

Furman Ousts UTC Women From Southern Conference Tournament, 58-40

UTC found itself on the short end of a 58-40 decision against Furman in the quarterfinal round of the 2021 Ingles Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale Brick at Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville. Bria Dial, playing her final game for the Mocs , led the way with 12 points and junior Eboni Williams added 11 points along with a team-high ... (click for more)

Pleasants Shines As #17 Vols Overcome Slow Start In Baseball Win At Austin Peay

#17 Tennessee was able to overcome an early deficit to earn a 5-3 win over in-state foe Austin Peay at Raymond C. Hand Park at Clarksville, Tn., on Wednesday night. The Governors (1-6) scored three times in the bottom of the third inning to jump out to an early advantage, but the Vols battled back and used a five-run fifth inning to take a lead they wouldn't relinquish. ... (click for more)