Human smuggling stopped in Madison County after victim gets out of vehicle, runs for help

Nixon Villalobos was arrested and charged with human smuggling
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:42 PM CDT
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MADISONVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - The Madison County Sheriff’s Office tells us four people escaped a human smuggler Friday in Madisonville after one of the victims was able to run for help.

The incident happened on the I-45 access road just south of Highway 21 Friday afternoon.

Nixon Villalobos was arrested and charged with human smuggling, according to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s investigators tell KBTX the men were rescued after one of them got out of the Ford Mustang when it was stopped.

“One of the victims evaded whenever the vehicle stopped to get gas off of 21. They were able to evade the vehicle, take off on foot, and find help and they told those persons that they had been kidnapped and the driver had a gun and he was able to describe the vehicle to us and we located the vehicle and that’s where we conducted the stop,” said Chelsea Stanford, Madison County Sheriff’s Office Investigator.

Investigators believe the group was heading north on I-45 to Dallas. The sheriff’s office received assistance from the Madisonville Police Department, DPS and ICE.

Investigators ask drivers to be on the lookout for human trafficking along I-45. In this case, a warning sign was people that looked in distress.

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