Highway Stop Starts Smuggling Investigation

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A routine traffic stop near Madisonville leads to the discovery of a human smuggling operation.

Claudia Jaramillo, 24, was pulled over a mile north of I-45 and Highway 21 Friday for an issue with her license plate and tinted windows. But when the Dallas native began acting suspicious, the DPS trooper conducted a search that turned up notes detailing numerous trips the woman made with illegal immigrants between Dallas and Houston.

Jaramillo admitted to having just shuttled three immigrants to Houston when she was pulled over. She had received $8,900 for transporting them, money which was stashed away in the car, but found during the search.

The notes found in the car dated back to February trips Jaramillo had made. In her confession, she said she was instructed to go to a location, and was given a password. Once there, she met with the illegals, validated the password, and transported them.

An investigation into the smuggling is underway, although DPS says Jarmillo did not implicate any one else in her initial confession.