Posted: 03/30/2011 01:25:14 AM EDT
CHAMBERSBURG — Eighteen people were detained on suspicion of being in the country illegally after their charter bus was pulled over for speeding in Chambersburg.
Pennsylvania State Police spotted the bus allegedly traveling 80 mph in a 65-mph zone Tuesday on Interstate 81 in Antrim Township. Troopers directed the driver to stop the bus in the parking lot of the Chambersburg Denny’s on Wayne Avenue.
Police said they discovered that the vehicle’s registration was suspended due to an apparent insurance cancellation, and the driver did not have a commercial driver’s license endorsement to operate the bus.
Police said about 57 passengers of apparently Asian descent were aboard the bus. Few could provide identification or converse in English, police said. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was contacted and agents detained 18 people for their apparently illegal status.
The bus was taken out of service for alleged motor carrier safety violations. It was seized by ICE.
The driver has also been charged, according to Trooper Tom Pinkerton, Pennsylvania State Police spokesman.
Troopers arranged transport for those passengers who were not detained by ICE. Pinkerton said state police did not take anyone into custody at the scene.
The bus was headed north on I-81 when it was pulled over just before 7 a.m. Tuesday. Pinkerton was not sure where the trip had originated or where it was heading.
State police said no other information was immediately available. The investigation has been turned over to the federal government.
Marcus Rauhut can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 262-4752.