AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- UPDATE (07/11/2016):
Following the Augusta County Sheriff's Office's report that it detained seven undocumented immigrants after an investigation along Interstate 81 last week, Nexus Services is now calling for a state and federal investigation into whether that action violated state and federal laws.
Mike Donovan, CEO of Nexus Services, along with Nexus General Counsel Gordon Turner and retired INS special agent Neville W. Cramer, claims that local law enforcement officials are not allowed to detain undocumented immigrants for being in the country illegally, according to state and federal statutes.
For that reason, they plan to call upon Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to investigate the situation.
Nexus will release more details in a press conference at 1:00 p.m. on Monday at their headquarters in Verona. WHSV reporter Jared Kline will be there to learn the latest.
ORIGINAL STORY (07/08/2016)
The Augusta County Sheriff's Office said it detained seven illegal immigrants Wednesday along Interstate 81.
In a media release sent to WHSV, the sheriff's office said:
On July 6, 2016, a newly formed Criminal Interdiction Unit, run by the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, stopped a vehicle on Interstate 81 northbound at the rest area in Weyers Cave. As a result of the investigation, it was determined that the driver was attempting to transport an illegal immigrant to New York City.
A second vehicle was pulled over as a result of the investigation. This vehicle contained six illegal immigrants that had recently entered the country and was also in route to a northern state. All were detained and transported to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Department of Homeland Security was contacted and responded to assist with the investigation. The driver and the six passengers of the second vehicle were turned over to the Department of Homeland Security.
The sheriff’s Interdiction unit was designed by Sheriff Donald Smith with the primary focus to aggressively combat criminal activity, with the main focus being narcotic distribution. Sheriff Smith designed this unit with a combination of task force officers, patrol units, and K-9 units.
“I have a zero tolerance policy for drug trafficking throughout Augusta County, and will use every resource I have to combat drug distribution,” says Sheriff Donald Smith. “The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the citizens of Augusta County, and will keep the community informed as best we can moving forward. “