Tennessee Highway Patrol arrests human trafficker smuggling 12 people
On February 8th, 2017, Trooper Jeremy Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Interdiction Plus Team (IPT) stopped a white Toyota Sienna on I-40 eastbound in Hickman County for a traffic violation. Upon speaking to the driver, Trooper Miller asked for a driver license which the driver stated he did not have. The driver identified himself as Bernado Mateo-Lucas. Trooper Miller continued to question the driver asking how many people were in the van. The driver stated there were four additional people in the vehicle. Trooper Miller observed six people counting the driver with an additional person lying under a blanket in the floor behind the driver’s seat. As the interview continued, Trooper Miller noticed more movement in the back cargo area. He counted six additional people lying on the floor for a total of 13 people in the vehicle. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Blue Lighting Operations Center (BLOC) was contacted and given the driver’s name and information. Trooper Miller was later informed by BLOC that Mateo-Lucas had a history of several human smuggling incidents and that his passport was fraudulent. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) responded to the scene and took 13 people into custody (nine adults and four juveniles). All 13 people where undocumented aliens traveling from Texarkana, TX to Nashville, TN. They were from Mexico and various Central American countries. The driver is an admitted illegal alien smuggler with several records in BLOC’s systems. Agents with the Nashville HSI Office responded to the scene. HSI arrested Mateo-Lucas who was referred for federal prosecution in Nashville. Mateo-Lucas is an undocumented alien from Guatemala and was federally charged with alien smuggling. The four children were placed in the care of the government. This is an ongoing investigation.
Montana Highway Patrol commissions 12 new troopers
The Montana Highway Patrol commissioned twelve new troopers on Friday at the 61st Advanced Academy Graduation ceremony. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox addressed the graduates at the event, which took place at the Radisson Colonial Hotel in Helena. Fox emphasized the importance of integrity for those who serve the public. “Integrity is one of the most important characteristics that any individual can possess. You’ll face some of the greatest challenges of your life while wearing this uniform. But no matter what life throws at you, face it with integrity, as that is a true sign of leadership,” he said.
Louisiana State Police deploys 165 troopers for Carnival 2017 and NBA All-Star Game
The 2017 Carnival season is unique this year with the addition of the NBA All-Star game. Both of these highly attended events will draw large crowds in the French Quarter and around the metro area. This will increase traffic in our area, resulting in increased aggressive and impaired drivers on our roads. In an effort to ensure safety in the French Quarter and on New Orleans metro area roadways, the Louisiana State Police is partnering with the New Orleans Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, DOTD, and the Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control throughout Carnival 2017 and the NBA All-Star game. Governor John Bel Edwards has committed approximately 165 Louisiana State Police Troopers from across the state to supplement those Troopers already working in the city. Troopers will be on assignment in the French Quarter and metro area, primarily focusing on proactive patrols, criminal investigations, crowd control and traffic control. “Our commitment to public safety in New Orleans is ongoing,” said Gov. Edwards. “Mardi Gras in itself is an exciting time to be in Louisiana, but adding in the return of the NBA All-Star Game makes it even better. Col. Edmonson and the LSP are doing a tremendous job in assisting Mayor Landrieu and NOPD secure the city, but this added presence will help protect the people in around the City of New Orleans. I am glad we are able to help, and I am looking forward to this exciting weekend in Louisiana.” “Louisiana State Police is proud and excited to once again partner with our fellow law enforcement and the City of New Orleans for NBA and Carnival 2017,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent. “Our primary focus during these events is protecting our citizens and tourists and ensuring that they have a memorable experience. We cannot do this alone; we rely on the public to assist law enforcement by coming forward and expressing any concerns related to criminal activity or unsafe situations. If you See Something that does not seem right, Say Something!” Please remember to utilize the “See Something, Send Something” app to report activity to the appropriate investigators. The app is found listed as See Send by My Mobile Witness, Inc. and is a nationwide suspicious activity reporting tool for citizens. Both text and/or pictures may be submitted directly to public safety personnel.
Texas State Troopers Rescued 76 Endangered Children Last Year
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced today that DPS Troopers – with the support of the DPS Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program, the Texas Rangers and DPS Special Agents – rescued 76 missing, exploited or at-risk children and initiated 42 related criminal investigations in 2016. “Children who go missing, who are abused or at-risk of being abused don’t always make an outcry for help when they encounter an officer,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “For this reason, the department’s IPC program is an indispensable tool; it has helped law enforcement across Texas, the nation and internationally to protect vulnerable victims, and ensure the criminals who target children face the full force of the law.” The IPC program was implemented in 2009 to teach law enforcement officers how to recognize indicators of endangered children who do not actively seek out help or exhibit obvious signs of abuse. As a result of receiving this specialized and targeted training, law enforcement officers can more readily identify and rescue children and arrest suspects.
As part of the 2016 totals, 19 children were rescued and 11 DPS IPC investigations were initiated in December alone. Additionally, DPS Victim Services counselors also provided emotional support and referrals to other resources to 181 of the rescued children and family members last year. The 42 criminal investigations initiated in 2016 focused on various alleged crimes, including:
- 20 cases of sexual assault of a child;
- 10 cases of possession of child pornography;
- Two cases of human trafficking;
- Two cases of indecency with a child; and
- Three cases of potential registered sex offender non-compliance.
Since the program’s inception, DPS has initiated more than 100 criminal investigations, and rescued more than 250 children as a result of this training. DPS partners with various law enforcement, victim services and Child Protective Services agencies to provide IPC training. To date, DPS has provided IPC training to its own officers as well as more than 6,500 other law enforcement and child protective service professionals in Texas, across the country and internationally. This training has also assisted other agencies in implementing similar programs within their own jurisdictions.