WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A Houston woman is charged with human smuggling after a traffic stop in Wichita County Saturday morning, March 18.
According to the arrest report, just before 9 a.m., a Department of Public Safety trooper stopped a red GMC SUV on U.S. 287 for speeding. The driver, Martha Morales, and her five passengers were identified. Morales said they were visiting family in Albuquerque, NM for the last several days.
When asked how she knew each of her passengers, she said they worked for her dad in construction. When asked if she was getting paid for the trip, she said she received gas money from her father.
A license plate report showed the SUV northbound on 287 in Wise County around 2:30 p.m. on March 17, and southbound in Childress County around 7:20 a.m.
The trooper noted this to be inconsistent with Morales’ story and asked if she was the only person that drove the SUV, and she said she was. When told about the license plate report, Morales’ passengers had different stories. Some said they were picked up in Texas, not New Mexico. They also said they would pay Morales once they got to Houston.
All five passengers were identified to be from El Salvador.
Morales was arrested and charged with five counts of smuggling of persons.