Home Las Cruces Las Cruces couple stopped for illegal window tinting charged with human trafficking
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Las Cruces couple stopped for illegal window tinting charged with human trafficking

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Timothy Chipp, Abilene Reporter-News
Published 5:42 p.m. MT May 2, 2019 | Updated 5:45 p.m. MT May 2, 2019

ABILENE – A Taylor County, Texas, grand jury Thursday indicted two Las Cruces residents accused of trafficking illegal immigrants for nefarious purposes.

Silvia Cabeza de Baca, 36, and Efren Morales, 35, were indicted on one count each of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of methamphetamine and endangering a child, five counts of trafficking of a person and five counts of smuggling of persons stemming from a Jan. 31 arrest in Tye, Texas.

According to court documents, Tye police detained a pickup for illegal window tinting. Morales was driving the vehicle, with Cabeza de Baca and her daughter, 13, as passengers.

In the pickup’s bed, the documents said, were five individuals: three from Honduras, one from Mexico and one from Guatemala.

A police dog alerted officers to the possible presence of drugs and a search of the vehicle found 15 glass pipes, a scale, a spoon, more than 37 grams of methamphetamine and 12 cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride tablets, the documents said.

In addition, Morales told police, the documents said, that he’s paid $1,000 per person who he transports illegally into the country. He said he was aware the people he transported most likely would be involved in some form of involuntary servitude.

He said Cabeza de Baca also was a willing participant in the trafficking of the people, the documents said.

In all, Morales said according to the documents that he earns $10,000 per week for transporting these individuals and that he has been doing it for 10 years.

Both are in Taylor County Jail custody, according to jail records, with bond set at $192,500 each.

More: Authorities in Mexico, U.S. find suspected stash house for human trafficking

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