LCSO: Stolen vehicles recovered in field last week might have been used for human trafficking

By Vanesa Brashier,

Seven vehicles recovered last Monday in a field off of the SH 105 bypass in Cleveland, just south of Pin Oak Road (CR 381), were likely used for human trafficking, according to Sgt. Investigator Travis Pierce.

The location of the vehicles was first reported to Cleveland Police Department, though the case was referred to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office when it was determined that the property fell outside of the police department’s jurisdiction.

Keys were still inside some of the vehicles, which had been modified to make room for more cargo.

“All of the backseat components had been removed. We found all sorts of food wrappers, soft drinks and snacks, which gave us the impression they were likely used for human trafficking,” Pierce said.

None of the seven vehicles was stolen in Liberty County. Some were from Illinois, Louisiana and South Dakota, and had been stolen from San Patricio, Polk, Jasper, Hardin and Chambers counties, and San Antonio. All the vehicles had fictitious license plates.

No arrests have been made at this time as a result of this case. Coincidentally, the location where the vehicles was recovered was in close proximity to where a marijuana field was discovered about six years ago.

“There are no fences on the property and the land borders the highway,” Pierce said.

The recovered vehicles were taken to storage yards for Smith Towing and J & J Wrecker Service where they will remain until the lawful owners or insurance companies claim them.

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