KINGSTON - Authorities found 18 illegal immigrants jammed into a stolen passenger van after it was observed "traveling recklessly" eastbound on Interstate 40 in Roane County on Wednesday morning.
"This was actually a human smuggling operation that originated in Houston, Texas, and the illegal immigrants were en route to an unknown location in New York," Agent Jon Wilson of the 9th Judicial District's Drug Task Force Interdiction Team said in a news release. After the van was stopped, a registration check on the 2003 Chevrolet 3500 van found it had been reported stolen in August 2009 from Los Angeles, Wilson said.
Found in the van were illegal immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras, including a 15-year-old boy with no relatives present, according to the news release.
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