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Feds Find 76 Illegal Immigrants Stuffed in Tractor Trailer North of Texas Border

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent and K-9 security dog keep watch at a checkpoint station, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Falfurrias, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP File Photo: Eric Gay

Human smugglers operating in the border city of Laredo stuffed 76 illegal immigrants into the cargo area of a tractor-trailer in an attempt to get them past a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. The tactic appears to be gaining popularity but has led to multiple deaths as human smugglers find new ways to maneuver around authorities.

The attempt took place last week when human smugglers moved illegal immigrants from various stash houses throughout Laredo and placed them all inside a tractor-trailer allegedly driven by Frederick True Beale from Mississippi, federal court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. U.S. Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint 35 miles north of Laredo grew suspicious of Beale’s trip since the manifest for his cargo had a wrong date and was missing information.

Agents ordered Beale move his tractor-trailer into a secondary inspection area where a USBP police dog alerted to contraband inside. When agents opened the trailer, they found 76 illegal immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador. Agents with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations responded to the scene to investigate the human smuggling attempt. 

This week, True Beale went before U. S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga who notified him of the federal charges and ordered that he be held without bond.

The recent arrest comes weeks after U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered 22 illegal immigrants hiding in a tractor trailer in Brooks County at the checkpoint in Falfurrias, Breitbart Texas reported. The rising use of tractor-trailers has led the agency to kick off an awareness campaign highlighting the dangers of using big rigs to smuggle humans.

The awareness campaign follows the tragic July 23, 2017, death of 10 illegal immigrants in the parking lot of a San Antonio Walmart. As Breitbart Texas reported, James Mathew Bradley, the driver of that tractor trailer, pleaded guilty for his roles in the human smuggling operation where he stuffed as many as 200 into his trailer and the deaths of 10 passengers.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.

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