Truck Driver Pleads Guilty for Human Smuggling Deaths of 10 Illegal Aliens

James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Florida, center, is escorted out of the federal courthouse after a hearing, Monday, July 24, 2017, in San Antonio. Bradley was arrested in connection with the deaths of multiple people packed into a broiling tractor-trailer. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

A truck driver who packed up to 200 illegal aliens into the back of his tractor-trailer pleaded guilty to Transporting Undocumented Aliens Resulting in Death. A total of 10 died after being locked for hours in the Texas summer heat.

James Matthew Bradley, Jr. pleaded guilty while appearing before United States Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad in San Antonio on Monday afternoon. Bradley pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in death and one count of transporting aliens resulting in death. He could face up to life in prison during a sentencing hearing scheduled for January 2018.

Bradley admitted that he conspired to transport and did transport illegal aliens into the U.S. with reckless disregard that they entered the U.S. illegally. He also admitted that his actions resulted in the deaths of 10 undocumented aliens. Eight of those were found in the back of his trailer in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio on July 23. Two others died later at a local hospital.

Daryl Fields, spokesman for the Western District of Texas office listed the following deceased illegal aliens:

  • Ruben Hernandez-Vargas, age 27, of Mexico, died July 23, 2017
  • Osbaldo Rodriguez-Cerda, age 21, of Mexico, died July 23, 2017
  • Frank Fuentes-Gonzalez, age 18, of Guatemala, died July 23, 2017
  • Jorge Reyes-Noveron, age 26, of Mexico, died July 23, 2017
  • ** Mariano Lopez-Cano, age unknown, of Mexico, died July 23, 2017
  • Jose Rodriguez-Aspeitia, age 36, of Mexico, died July 23, 2017
  • Benjamin Martinez-Arredondo, age 37, of Mexico, died July 23, 2017
  • ** Ricardo Martinez-Esparza, age 24, of Mexico, died July 24, 2017
  • One other adult male had not been identified at the time of publication.
    ** indicates individual died after being transported to local hospital

Investigators said in the previously reported criminal complaint:

Bradley said he was traveling from Laredo to San Antonio, after having the tractor-trailer washed and detailed at a truck stop near Laredo. He intended to take the trailer to Brownsville to deliver it to someone who had purchased it. He stopped at the Wal-Mart and heard banging and shaking in the trailer.

Bradley told investigators he had his truck and trailer washed in Laredo. He later moved the rig to another stop where he reportedly had the tractor-trailer “detailed.” He disclosed his final destination to be Brownsville, Texas, where he was delivering the trailer to a new owner. The criminal complaint does not say why he would choose to go through San Antonio, a detour that adds more than 200 miles to the trip.

“Today’s admission of guilt by Mr. Bradley helps to close the door on one of the conspirators responsible for causing the tragic loss of life and wreaking havoc on those who survived this horrific incident,” Shane M. Folden, special agent in charge, HSI San Antonio, said in a written statement. “This case is a glaring reminder that alien smugglers are driven by greed and have little regard for the health and well-being of their human cargo, which can prove to be a deadly combination. HSI is committed to aggressively targeting human smugglers and smuggling organizations, who continually victimize people for profit.”

In September, prosecutors added a second suspect to the indictment.

Prosecutors charged Pedro Silva Segura, a 47-year-old illegal alien living in Laredo, Texas, with one count of “conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented aliens for financial gain resulting in death,” according to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. If convicted, Silva faces up to life in prison.

Silva’s alleged role in the conspiracy was to transport the illegal aliens and deliver them to Bradley in Laredo, the DOJ stated. Police in Laredo arrested Silva on an unrelated charge. Federal prosecutors are in the process of arranging his transfer to the courthouse in San Antonio where he will face the new charges.

Silva remains in federal custody pending his trial.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.


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