A judge has ruled that a Maine state trooper had a legitimate reason to stop a van full of immigrants that he described as the “ICE mother lode” and will allow a resulting immigration case to move forward.
An attorney for Mario Ernesto Garcia-Zavala claims the men were racially profiled.
Trooper Robert Burke says he stopped the vehicle because a passenger wasn't wearing a seatbelt and the windshield was cracked. Video from Burke's car captured him telling another trooper that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would need to bring out a SWAT team.
The Portland Press Herald reports that a federal judge ruled the stop valid and declined to dismiss Garcia-Zavala's charge of illegally re-entering the country.
Garcia-Zavala is trying to avoid a felony conviction but still faces deportation.