I-85 Traffic Stop Turns Into Arrest of Suspected Human Trafficker

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A man was arrested on the suspicion of human trafficking after state troopers found six people packed in the back of his SUV during a traffic stop on I-85 in Gaston County Tuesday. 

It happened during a traffic stop on I-85 northbound around mile marker 8 on Tuesday around 3:30 p.m. The trooper involved indicated that stories weren't adding up, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. 

The trooper searched the vehicle and saw six people in the back. Those six people also had inconsistent stories, officials say. Based on that, the trooper determined there might be a human trafficking situation.

The suspect, identified as Edgar Ortiz-Jarquin, then ran from the vehicle. Officials said Ortiz-Jarquin was at large for two hours before being arrested around 7 p.m. 

According to Highway Patrol, Ortiz is being held in Cleveland County because the original traffic violation was there. He's being held on charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or distribute marijuana, trafficking methamphetamine, felony possession of marijuana and resisting a public officer. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. 

Visit WCNC for more details.

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