National News

Louisiana state police rescue 25 illegal immigrants from human trafficking operation

Posted June 19, 2018 11:30 a.m. EDT

— Louisiana State Police Troopers detained 25 illegal immigrants, including two children, after interrupting a human trafficking operation on I-10.

A Trooper pulled over an SUV that had that had committed a traffic violation on I-10 West between Sulphur and Westlake on June 14.

Soon after, another Trooper pulled over another SUV nearby for a separate traffic violation.

Inside the two vehicles, Troopers found 25 illegal immigrants, including two juveniles, according to Louisiana State Police spokesman Sgt. James Anderson.

"These victims were being transported through a human smuggling operation, where they would be forced into debt bondage," Anderson said. "This type of trafficking is an example of modern day slavery, where unreasonable working conditions exist."

The drivers of the two SUVs, 32-year-old Stephanie Harris and 38-year-old Nicholas Harris, both of Denham Springs, have been arrested and charged with improper lane use, human trafficking, and human trafficking of a juvenile.

US Border Patrol agents took custody of the illegal immigrants, including the two children.

Bond for Stephanie Harris and Nicholas Harris has been set at $376,000.

They each face up to 35 years in prison.

Anyone with any information on sex or labor trafficking is asked to call the Louisiana State Police Fusion Center hotline at 1.800.434.8007.