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Central Texas deputies pull over SUV with 21 men inside, arrest driver

Pedro Roda-Lucas, 21.
Pedro Roda-Lucas, 21.(Jail photo)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 4:26 PM CDT
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MILLS COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) – Mills County deputies pulled over an SUV and discovered 21 men inside, one of whom they arrested for human smuggling, Mills County Sheriff Clint Hammonds said Tuesday in a Facebook post.

Deputies pulled the 2008 GMC Yukon at around 4:30 p.m. last Thursday on U.S. Highway 84 in Center City for a traffic violation.

“Deputies observed 21 men inside the vehicle and determined that all the individuals were from Guatemala and were in the United States illegally,” Hammond said in the post.

With the help of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas Parks And Wildlife game wardens, the 21 were secured and interviewed, he said.

None of the 21 except for the driver had money or cellphones.

The driver, whom Hammonds identified as Pedro Roda-Lucas, 21, “admitted to smuggling the individuals and he was to be paid $450 a person when they arrived in Georgia.”

Lucas was arrested.

“Deputies contacted the United States Border Patrol and were advised that because (of) President Biden’s new orders on immigration that they would not be taking them into custody,” Hammonds said.

“We were told to let them go if we did not have any offenses against them.”

Members of the Fellowship Baptist Church stepped up and arrived with vans and drove the other 20 men to the church, where they were provided with water and food,” Hammonds said.

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