TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – More information has come to light regarding the story we brought to you on Monday morning regarding a black painted school bus. The bus had been pulled over by Grand Traverse deputies on Friday around 10:15 a.m. when police officers saw the driver exhibiting erratic behavior, including swerving and lane departure.

Border Patrol called when things didn’t add up.

The driver was given a traffic violation citation by GT County for improper lane use and then they called the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after the driver reportedly gave the deputies confusing documentation.

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In a press briefing with GT County on Monday morning, GT County Sheriff Michael Shea told Michigan News Source that there was a language barrier in communications with the driver and the bus occupants after the bus was pulled over. During that time, the driver had produced a digital CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) that the county doesn’t accept. When they contacted the Michigan State Police, they were unable to verify its validity.

According to independent journalist and contributor to Border Hawk News Izzy Lyman, who got a response from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs in Detroit about the incident, the driver was also unable to produce a U.S. Driver’s license and presented deputies with a Mexican voter registration card.

Border patrol verifies bus occupants are undocumented.

Lyman also uncovered information that the bus riders were undocumented. Youssef Fawaz from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs in Detroit told her, “On Friday, U.S. Border Patrol was contacted by the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s office to assist after a bus transporting 19 undocumented non-citizens was pulled over by deputies for erratic driving.”

He went on to say, “Subsequently, the 19 undocumented non-citizens were transported to the Sault Ste. Marie Border Patrol Station where they were processed and served a Notice To Appear. The individuals have been placed in immigration removal proceedings. Additional information cannot be released due to an ongoing investigation.”

It is currently unknown what the ages and sex of the bus occupants were.

Bus occupants were not in custody of Grand Traverse County.

Sheriff Shea said that at no time when GT County was in control of the scene were the bus occupants in custody. However, they stayed on the bus voluntarily until approximately 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon when border patrol took over the scene, transported the bus occupants in their vehicles, and had the bus towed to an unknown location.

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According to a query into the U.S. DOT number on the bus, it is registered to Dutchman Tree Farms LLC in Manton, Michigan and is used for passengers, agricultural/farm supplies and Christmas trees.

Numerous attempts have been made to communicate Dutchman Tree Farms about the situation but they haven’t returned any of our requests for comment.

Michigan News Source has also initiated a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request on the original traffic stop and will provide any additional information that is made available.

For part three in this story click here to find out what happened to the bus occupants after they were taken to the Upper Peninsula.