Local News

Six human trafficking victims found in car on I-85 in Gaston County; man arrested

Posted November 20, 2019 8:34 a.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2019 11:59 a.m. EST

— A man is in custody after a traffic stop on U.S. Interstate 85 turned into a suspected human trafficking situation.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, when human trafficking suspect Edgar Ortiz's vehicle was pulled over, he allegedly jumped and ran.

The trooper searched the vehicle and saw six people in the back. According to NBC Charlotte, those six people had inconsistent stories. Based on that, the trooper determined there might be a human trafficking situation.

"I was just driving by and there was about eight cops out there about six Hispanic males and females sitting out," said witness Curtis Johnson.

Ortiz, 37, was caught two hours later walking along I-85. His car had Arizona plates, although it's unclear if that's where he came from.Troopers said they were actually looking for drugs when they pulled over Ortiz's vehicle.

Officials told NBC Charlotte Ortiz was in custody but at a hospital and has not been booked into jail.

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