A traffic stop on Interstate 59 ended with nine illegal immigrants in custody, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.
A patrol sergeant and K-9 deputy made the stop on a vehicle from Texas about 11 p.m. Tuesday, said Tyler Pruett, office spokesman.
After a further investigation, it was determined that the occupants were in the United States illegally and it was a human smuggling operation to transport them into the country from the southern border, Pruett said.
Department of Homeland Security Investigators were called, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detainers were placed on the subjects.
Sheriff Nick Weldon told WAAY 31 there could be more human trafficking arrests.
"We're just a piece of the puzzle. You're gonna start seeing this stuff being noticed all across the country....human trafficking... it's becoming just as big as trafficking guns, drugs, money or whatever. Human trafficking is real. It's out there, and it's just going to grow and we've got to be the first line of defense to stop it," said Sheriff Weldon.
Federal charges are pending. The case is still ongoing and currently under investigation.
Check WAAY 31 on air and WAAYTV.com for updates