Florida Highway Patrol Make Human Trafficking Arrest During Highway Stop

On October 21st at 12:04 PM, a FHP Trooper conducted a traffic stop for illegal window tint on a 2014 Toyota sedan traveling southbound on I-75 near the 313 milepost in Sumter County, Florida. 

Upon stopping the vehicle, the Trooper noticed the Louisiana temporary tag placed on the vehicle had been altered. 

Once the Trooper made contact with the driver, Mario Antonio Padilla-Aguilar, 24, he was presented with a Honduras ID card, but no driver’s license. 

Within the vehicle, the Trooper observed four nervous passengers with scarring on their arms. 

The Trooper, previously deployed to Texas, recognized obvious signs of human trafficking and following minor questioning determined that the two males from Guatemala and the two females from Mexico had been acquired from Texas and Louisiana respectively. 

Further questioning indicated that the four passengers had paid for transit to Florida on October 20th with additional payment required once they arrived at their destination. 

Following the roadside investigation, the four passengers were delivered to the United States Border Patrol while Padilla-Aguilar was arrested and delivered to the Sumter County Jail, charged with No Valid Driver License, No Vehicle Registration, Altered Temporary Tag and four counts of Human Trafficking.  

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