Congratulations to Officer J. D. Price who recently received Officer of the Month honors from the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Office Price was recognized for efforts to prevent human trafficking.
On May 7, 2013, Officer Price observed an Econoline van with Texas license plates on I-81 near Salem. From her investigative skills, she knew this was the type of vehicle was typically used in human trafficking and/or smuggling.
She initiated a traffic stop based on a defective third brake light. Upon stopping the vehicle she observed multiple subjects in the vehicle and the vehicle began to rock back and forth. The driver and 14 individuals of different ethnicities were exited from the vehicle. A search revealed 2 more individuals under a seat in the 15 passenger van. It was determined that all of the individuals were illegal aliens from countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Angola and China and were being transported by a Hispanic male from Houston, Texas to Washington, D.C.
The results of her investigation uncovered a textbook human trafficking and smuggling case. Local Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents were contacted but were unable to respond. As a result, the driver and the victims were released at the scene.
Officer Price brought her case to the attention of the F.B.I. who subsequently entered the information into the F.B.I.’s shared computer files. On June 10, 2013, An officer in Lee County, Florida made a traffic stop on the same driver transporting illegal aliens.
Because of Officer Price’s determination to follow up with the F.B.I., Florida was able to arrest the driver on suspicion of human trafficking.
Congratulations Officer Price!