- Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A judge has ruled that a Maine state trooper had a legitimate reason to stop a van full of immigrants that he described as the “ICE mother lode” and will allow a resulting immigration case to move forward.

An attorney for Mario Ernesto Garcia-Zavala claims the men were racially profiled.

Trooper Robert Burke says he stopped the vehicle because a passenger wasn’t wearing a seat belt and the windshield was cracked. Video from Burke’s car captured him telling another trooper that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would need to bring out a SWAT team.

The Portland Press Herald reports that a federal judge ruled the stop valid and declined to dismiss Garcia-Zavala’s charge of illegally re-entering the country.

Garcia-Zavala is trying to avoid a felony conviction but still faces deportation.


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