LAREDO, Texas — Border Patrol Agents on April 20 discovered 59 illegal aliens inside the trailer of a big rig.
The illegal aliens were found in good health and identified as being from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras and Peru.
The driver and passenger, both United States citizens, were arrested and the tractor-trailer was seized by Border Patrol
The discovery began when agents at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate 35, north of Laredo, Texas, encountered a tractor-trailer at the primary inspection lane.
The driver and passenger were questioned regarding their immigration status and referred to secondary checkpoint after a Border Patrol canine alerted to the presence of concealed humans and/or narcotics.
“These criminal organizations view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety,” said Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta. “The blatant disregard for human life will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and prosecute those responsible,”.
The Laredo Sector Border Patrol continues to warn against the dangers of people crossing illegally into the United States through dangerous environmental conditions.
Our Border Safety Initiative (BSI) is a humanitarian, bi-national strategy designed to reduce illegal alien deaths, educate and inform potential illegal aliens of the dangers and hazards of crossing the border illegally, and to respond to those who are in life-threatening situations.
Ironically, the discovery of the illegal immigrants came on the same day that the driver of a big rig involved in the deaths of 10 smuggled immigrants in Texas last year was sentenced to life in prison.
James Matthew Bradley Jr. pleaded guilty in October to a count of transporting the immigrants resulting in death and a conspiracy count.
If he had gone to trial and been convicted, he could have faced the death penalty.
At least 39 immigrants, most from Mexico and Guatemala, were inside the sweltering trailer found by San Antonio police last July in a Walmart parking lot.
Its refrigeration system wasn’t working and outside temperatures that day reached 101 degrees. Eight people died inside the trailer and two others died after being hospitalized.
To report suspicious activity such as alien and/or drug smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free telephone number at (800) 343-1994.
All people apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure illegal aliens with criminal histories are positively identified.