SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida traffic stop this week landed two men in jail facing charges of trafficking children.
Investigators say a traffic stop on Interstate 10 Wednesday led to the arrest of Frank Leija Moreno and Jackson Perez-Godinez.
Deputies said when they pulled over their car, the suspects were in the front seat, and two teenage boys were in the back.
The sheriff’s office said the group got nervous, and their stories didn’t add up.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said they learned the boys were from Guatemala and smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico for forced labor.
“Getting drugs off the street, that’s one thing. But getting these guys off the street is really big because this is what they do for a living. They take advantage of kids,” Sherrif Bob Johnson said.
FDLE said the boy’s families paid more than $1,000 each to send them to the U.S.
Agents said the boys were told they’d have to work off additional travel expenses.
The sheriff’s office said Moreno is a sex offender from Texas, and Perez-Godinez is from Guatemala and illegally in the country.
Agents said the men were taking the boys to different cities in Central and South Florida.