Sunday, July 20, 2008

[indyweek] The 'straight-up extortion' express: Human smuggling in Orange County

by Matt Saldaña
July 16, 2008

When Hillsborough police officers responded to a knife fight in a McDonald's parking lot last month, they uncovered a network of van drivers delivering illegal immigrants to the East Coast—and allegedly extorting their passengers.

On two separate occasions in the past month, officers in Hillsborough and Camden, S.C., have arrested drivers working for Transportes Tania, a Houston-based company, for allegedly forcing passengers to pay higher prices than originally agreed. In both cases, according to police reports, the drivers were transporting more than a dozen clients—all illegal immigrants—to destinations throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, with planned stops in North Carolina.

[View the entire article at the Independent Weekly.]