YOLO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A man accused of human smuggling and not letting those he was transporting go free was arrested in Yolo County, the Department of Justice said.
The DOJ identified him as 29-year-old Mateo Gomez Gonzalez of Mexico. Gonzalez was reportedly arrested at a gas station near Dunnigan, which is about a 40-minute drive northwest of Sacramento.
According to the DOJ, court documents detail that on Sept. 28 someone living in Sacramento reported to authorities that their relative and a friend were being held by a smuggler for more pay.
The DOJ said the driver of the smuggling operation threatened to take the two people to an “unknown stash house” if they didn’t go through with an additional payment. Law enforcement was able to find the driver and the vehicle thanks to a tip from the family member.
Officers arrested the driver, who was identified as Gomez. He is currently in federal custody in Sacramento.
Gomez could face up to five years in prison per individual smuggled if he is convicted, according to the DOJ.
There were four other people in the car, who were undocumented. The DOJ did not say what happened to them in their press release.