- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A federal court document states that a Texas man, arrested in south Mississippi on a charge of illegally transporting immigrants, claimed he was doing so to reduce a debt.

The Sun-Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2lkYKX5 ) 50-year-old Robert Espinal Jr., had eight passengers in his vehicle when he was pulled over by a D’Iberville police officer on Feb. 16 for careless driving.

In an affidavit, a Homeland Security Investigation agent said the passengers were from Guatemala, El Salvador and Brazil and were in the United States illegally.

The affidavit said Espinal told HSI agents he agreed to drive immigrants from Houston to Miami to reduce a $10,000 debt. The record did not indicate what happened to the passengers.

A judge ordered Espinal’s release Friday on $25,000 bond. A grand jury hearing is pending.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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