FELLSMERE — Five undocumented immigrants – including one found with several bags of cocaine – were recently detained by officers in two separate incidents, police said.
This is the second reported incident this year involving undocumented immigrants being detained in Indian River County.
“The Fellsmere Police Department, like other law enforcement agencies, work with immigration officials to identify undocumented immigrants who engage in criminal activity and will assist in their removal from the United States as a means to protect the community,” police Chief Keith Touchberry, with the Fellsmere Police Department, said in a statement.
For the first incident, officers conducted a traffic stop about 10:40 p.m. July 13 on a vehicle at the intersection of North Broadway Street and New York Avenue. Police stopped the vehicle because of a faulty brake light, authorities said.
Officers spoke with front seat passenger Francisco Gonzalez, 27, of the 100 block of North Maple Street. Police discovered Gonzalez had two grams of powdered cocaine in three separate bags, authorities said.
Officers later learned Gonzalez entered the U.S. illegally. Gonzalez was arrested for possession of cocaine and taken to the Indian River County Jail.
Gonzalez will remain at the jail until Immigration Customs and Enforcement officials pick him up. The driver of the vehicle, a woman, was identified and released, police said.
For the second incident, police went to Gonzalez’ home about 7 a.m. Tuesday on Maple Street as part of an on-going drug investigation. Officers assisted the U.S. Border Patrol in detaining four other men who they said also entered the country illegally.
Those men were identified as Jose Luis Gonzalez-Salvador, Bernando Lazaro-Martinez, both 26, Daniel Encarncacion-Avila, 25, and Sergio Trejo-Mejia, 22, all of Mexico. While officers did not find narcotics at the home, they noted that undocumented immigrants coming to the U.S. unlawfully is still a crime.
The four men were taken to the U.S. Border Patrol station in Orlando, where they are being processed for removal from the U.S., police said.