CLEVELAND COUNTY – The scourge of human trafficking, mostly driven by foreign drug cartels, may seem like something that happens in far off border towns, but the reality is it goes on right in our own backyard. State Troopers making a traffic stop of an SUV on I-85 in Cleveland County found seven people inside, all victims of human trafficking, along with drugs after the driver fled the scene. Luckily, he — Edgar Ortiz — was later apprehended.
“A traffic stop on Interstate 85 near mile marker 8 on the highway began when troopers pulled over a gray Toyota Sequoia.
Upon looking inside the car, officials located seven individuals who were later determined to be victims of human trafficking.
In addition to this, the troopers also found methamphetamines and other illegal substances inside of the vehicle.
The suspect initially fled the scene but he was apprehended later Tuesday evening. Edgar Ortiz, 37, is being transported to the Gaston County jail in connection with the case. […]”
The article fails to clarify whether or not Ortiz is a legal resident of the United States, which means, either, the police didn’t offer the information; the reporters didn’t ask; or, as often happens, the suspect is an illegal alien and for some reason that’s taboo to mention.
Regardless, the incident confirms that, despite it’s distance from the border, North Carolina faces the same issues with human trafficking and illegal criminal organizations. The interstates that cross our state make it a conduit for illegal activity in larger markets to our north and south. Not long ago major drug cartel lieutenants were busted running a large meth ring from an upscale house in Iredell County.
Meanwhile, the sheriffs in some of those counties favor releasing known illegal aliens charged with crimes instead of turning them over to ICE. The troopers discovery of human trafficking victims transiting our roads right here in North Carolina reinforce why sanctuary policies make no sense if we are to have a chance at fighting such crime.