U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Station busted a human smuggling operation where 19 illegal immigrants were trapped in the trailer of a refrigerated truck.
Agents working the Highway 86 checkpoint observed the nervous behavior of a Mexican national driving a tractor-trailer. The agents referred the 44-year-old driver to a secondary inspection station, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
During an inspection of the rig, agents heard unusual noised coming from inside the refrigerated trailer. Agents opened the doors and discovered 19 illegal immigrants locked inside. There was no way the immigrants could have opened the trailer doors in the event of an accident or if they were abandoned by the smuggler.
“This could have been a very dangerous situation if it weren’t for the air conditioner being turned on,” Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Miguel Garcia said in a written statement. “The illegal immigrants had no possibilities of exiting the tractor-trailer without an outside source.”
One of the 19 illegal immigrants was a citizen of Guatemala. The remaining immigrants, and the driver, were Mexican nationals.
Border Patrol agents seized the tractor-trailer rig and took the immigrants into custody. The Guatemalan will be processed for removal to his native country.
The Mexican nationals will also be processed by Homeland Security officials for removal to Mexico.
In October 2015, Breitbart Texas reported on a Frio County, Texas, deputy sheriff who rescued 40 illegal immigrants from the back of a trailer. The immigrants had been abandoned in the heat of the sweltering trailer. A police body cam revealed the moment the doors were opened and the horribly weakened immigrants pushed outward.
The illegal immigrants are frequently found locked in the trailers of trucks smuggling the human cargo. In 2003, the bodies of eighteen illegal immigrants were found just south of Victoria, Texas, in an abandoned trailer. In May, 2015, eighteen more illegal immigrants were found inside yet another tractor-trailer, as reported by Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz.