Traffic Stop

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Traffic stop finds 12 illegals in van

By Rupert Howell and Billy Davis
Twelve passengers and a driver were turned over to the Department of Homeland Security Friday after a routine traffic stop on I-55 according to Panola County Jail’s  log.

Panola County Narcotics Task Force commander Mark Whitten later explained that a mini-van containing 10 males and three females was pulled over during the traffic stop.

Twelve of them were determined to be illegal immigrants and were turned over to Homeland Security  officials from Jackson.

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The ages ranged from 17 to 33, Whitten said.

Whitten said it was his understanding that the driver and possibly three of the occupants would face criminal charges and the others face deportation.

Whitten explained the van load was traveling from Houston to Nashville allegedly to work construction for one week before, “ . . .going back south.”

Whitten said, “That makes absolutely no sense.”

In Batesville, weekend police reports included vandalism that damaged automobiles co-owned by Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey.

Autrey and his brother Jeff sell automobiles from a car lot, Wheels Lease Sales, located along Highway 6 East near Sonic.

Six of the automobiles were sprayed with paint stripper and damaged.

Jeff Autrey discovered the vandalism Saturday morning according to the police report from Patrolman Greg Jones.