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Authorities detain 38 illegal aliens traveling by school bus

The Associated Press, March 8, 2002

HOXIE, Ark. (AP) -- Thirty-eight illegal aliens were detained and taken into custody after a traffic stop in Hoxie.

Arkansas State Police Trooper Creston Hutton said he stopped a school bus on Thursday, carrying 33 men and five women from Mexico, when it failed to stop at a railroad crossing. U.S. Border Patrol agent Ed Alexander said all of the 38 were from Mexico, mostly Oaxaca.

Alexander said charges may be filed against two of them because investigators suspect they may have been operating a smuggling operation. He said the two were carrying $7,500 in cash.

The other 36 detainees face a charge of civil violation of deportation laws. All signed waivers saying that they would voluntarily return to Mexico.

Alexander said some of the Mexicans told authorities they were on their way to farm jobs in North Carolina and construction jobs in Atlanta.

He said the bus was en route from Arizona.