Illegal immigrant couple nabbed in Elk Lick

The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA – Illegal immigrant couple nabbed in Elk Lick Twp.
The Tribune-Democrat

SALISBURY — Checking into a reported drunken driving incident, Elk Lick Township police arrested two illegal aliens last week, and police are investigating reports of others working in Somerset County.

Police arrested 35-year-old Eduar Ibarias Ruiz and his wife, 36-year-old Marina Lopez, after a traffic stop Wednesday evening.

An officer pulled over their black Ford Ranger pickup after someone called to report a suspected drunken driver behind the wheel in a vehicle fitting that description. The pair was not found to be intoxicated, but police said they had false IDs and no Pennsylvania driver’s licenses.

“Over the past six or eight years, we have started to hear more about (illegal immigrants),” township Officer Rodger Hutzell said.

“It seems like a greater influx lately.”

The pair, now in Bedford County Jail awaiting a deportation hearing, told an officer through an interpreter that illegal aliens are being housed in Keyser, W.Va., and go to Somerset County for work on farms or lumbering businesses on an as-needed basis.

They did not tell police the name of their employer. Police are unsure how long aliens may have been filing into the county from the West Virginia address, but officers forwarded the information to state police in West Virginia as well as Immigration and Naturalization Services.

West Virginia state police could not be reached for comment Monday.

The pair allegedly had fake immigration and Social Security cards in the pickup, and Ruiz had a Mexican driver’s license that expired in 2005.

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