Man arrested after 7 human trafficking victims found in vehicle in NC being held on $1 million bond

Human trafficking victims facing drug charges

CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Troopers say a suspect was taken into custody hours after after seven human trafficking victims were found inside a vehicle near Cleveland County Tuesday afternoon.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the incident happened during a traffic stop on I-85 near Mile Marker 8 when troopers pulled over a gray Toyota Sequoia.

When officers looked inside the SUV, they found seven people who were later determined to be victims of human trafficking. In addition to this, troopers also found methamphetamines and other illegal substances inside the vehicle.

The suspect, identified as 37-year-old Edgar Ortiz, initially fled the scene, but was apprehended and taken into custody later Tuesday night.

He is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

The Cleveland County Clerk’s office said seven other people were in court today facing drug charges as well also with a $1 million bond. The clerk’s office said those seven people were the ones inside the car with him.

The NC State Highway Patrol confirmed Wednesday there is still an active ongoing human trafficking case into what happened and Ortiz’s involvement.

Edgar Ortiz
Edgar Ortiz (Source: Cleveland County Sheriff's Office)

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