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Utah's Back Roads Often Risky Routes for Human Trafficking



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BLANDING, Utah (AP) -- Immigrant smugglers are increasingly using Utah's winding back roads rather than more heavily patrolled routes.

Officials say that is making already dangerous journeys more hazardous and putting people farther from emergency help.

Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Rick Eldredge stopped several carloads of immigrants just one day after this week's fatal rollover that killed eight of 14 people crammed into a Chevy Suburban.

But this time he wasn't on U-S Highway 191 where Monday's crash occured. He was on State Road 261. It's a winding two lane road that has a long unpaved stretch.

Eldredge says because traffic is so sparse on the road no one would come along quickly to report it if there were a crash.

The UHP doesn't keep official statistics but says anecdotal evidence shows immigrant smugglers began taking the alternate routes about three or four years ago.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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