Driver suspected of smuggling immigrants arrested near Grand Junction
MACK, Colorado – Police in western Colorado say they arrested a man suspected of transporting 18 people illegally from Mexico into the U.S. in a van.
Fruita police say 27-year-old Jose Esperdiador Ramirez Jr., of Ontario, Calif., told them he was paid $30 for each person in the van. The van was traveling from Arizona to Kansas.
Police say they stopped Ramirez Thursday after an officer saw the van weaving and that he was having trouble steering on Interstate 70 near Mack, about 265 miles west of Denver.
Police say the 18 people in the van are suspected of being in the country illegally. One was a juvenile who has been returned to Mexico. Police say the remaining adults are in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Ramirez made his first court appearance Friday.
Snow usually comes and goes in this part of the state. A forecasted storm is expected to stick around for a while. Forecasters are calling for snow to persist throughout the weekend in the high country, with a prospect of a couple of feet of powder by the time the storm starts to diminish on Monday.