MANATEE -- Moments before a light blue van crashed into his Toyota Tundra pickup, Joe Barbato was waiting for an opening to make a left hand turn onto State Road 64 from 48th Street Court East.
“I was just sitting there waiting to make a turn,” said Barbato, 22. “I looked up and saw blue. I didn’t realize what was going on and saw people running away.”
Eight men jumped from the van and scattered into nearby woods, according to Steve McDonald, a agent with the U.S. Border Patrol.
One was captured shortly after the crash, McDonald said, and he confessed to being smuggled into the United States from Mexico as a part of a human trafficking pipeline two days before via the Arizona border.
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