DUNNIGAN – Federal authorities arrested a suspected "coyote" in Yolo County last week.
The US Department of Justice said, back on Sept. 28, authorities were contacted by a Sacramento resident about how a relative of his and a friend were allegedly being held over a dispute over payment.
Authorities said the operation in question involved human smuggling.
As investigators soon learned, the alleged driver was threatening to drop off the person's relative at a stash house instead of with family unless they paid him twice the amount he asked for originally.
Instead of the family meeting the suspect, law enforcement agents showed up at the gas station near Dunnigan. The suspected smuggler, identified as 29-year-old Mexican national Mateo Gomez Gonzalez, was arrested and four other passengers were discovered in the vehicle. All the passengers didn't have lawful status in the US, authorities said.
Gomez, the alleged "coyote," is now facing a maximum of five years in prison for each person smuggled if he is convicted.
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