NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas — **EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from Jan. 2021.
A traffic stop on Highway 59 South in Nacogdoches County led to the recovery of a 14-year-old girl law enforcement officials believe was being targeted in a human trafficking operation.
According to the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office (NCSO), Justin Berezi, 23, Idris Shidi, 23, both of Houston, were arrested in connection with the traffic stop and booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail.
The NCSO reports an investigator with the NCSO pulled over a passenger car for a traffic violation on Highway 59 S.
"The investigator could smell a strong odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle while speaking with the driver," the NCSO said. "The investigator observed two male subjects in the front of the vehicle and a young female in the back seat. "
The NCSO says due to how the men were acting, the investigator became concerned about the female’s welfare. Upon further investigation, it was found the 14-year-old girl had been reported as a runaway out of Harrison County.
Officials say Berezi, the driver, had an ankle monitor on and was wanted for an outstanding felony warrant out of Fort Bend County. Shidi was taken into custody arrested for possession of marijuana.
The NCSO believes the men were involved in human trafficking and took the girl from the Houston area.