69.8 F
The Villages
Thursday, May 12, 2022

Human smuggler nabbed in Sumter County claims he was taking illegals on ‘beach vacation’

Erick Daniel Romo Gonzalez
Erick Daniel Romo Gonzalez

A human smuggling suspect nabbed on Interstate 75 in Sumter County attempted to convince law enforcement he was taking four illegals on a “beach vacation.”

Erick Daniel Romo Gonzalez, 27, was driving a white 2007 Cadillac CTS on Thursday morning southbound on I-75 when he was pulled over for suspiciously tinted windows, according to an arrest report from the Florida Highway Patrol. A traffic stop was initiated near Mile Marker 314 at Bushnell.

The Cadillac, which had Texas license plates, had three adult males in the back seat and one in the front passenger seat.

An interpreter was called to the scene after Romo Gonzalez indicated his primary language is Spanish. Romo Gonzalez said they were headed for the beach. The passengers were less specific, but indicated they were “sight seeing.” Receipts from various locations in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama “on successive days” were found in the vehicle.

A human smuggling suspect was arrested Thursday on Interstate 75 in Sumter County
A human smuggling suspect driving a white Cadillac was arrested Thursday on Interstate 75 in Sumter County.

“Additionally, the clothing and personal effects of the occupants in the vehicle were not consistent with a beach vacation,” the report said.

A Border Patrol agent was called to the scene and it was confirmed that Romo Gonzalez previously had been arrested for illegal entry into the United States. He admitted he knew his four passengers were illegally in the United States.

Romo Gonzalez was arrested on four counts of human smuggling. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center on $40,000 bond.

More Headlines
Stories in and around The Villages, Florida

The Villages, Florida

Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

Officials should be smarter when it comes to windmill and water tower

A Village of Buttonwood resident, in a Letter to the Editor, contends that at a time when prices are rising, residents will be stuck with the cost of rebuilding a windmill and water tower at Brownwood.

Commissioner wants to eliminate golf carts on North Morse Boulevard

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of De La Vista West resident raises his concern about a Sumter County commissioner who suggested the possibility of eliminating golf cart traffic on North Morse Boulevard.

Unhappy about men’s day at Hacienda Hills Championship Golf Course

A Villas of Spanish Springs man expresses his displeasure about the status of Hacienda Hills Championship Golf Course. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Explanation about windmill and water tower doesn’t make sense

A Village of Hawkins resident says that the explanation about the need to rebuild a windmill and water tower at Brownwood doesn’t make sense. Read her Letter to the Editor.

Sumter County needs to do the right thing

A Village of Belle Aire resident, in a Letter to the Editor, explains the potential cost of the new independent fire protection district in The Villages. He also contends that Sumter County commissioners need “to do the right thing.”

The Villages, Florida