Border Patrol agents in South Texas arrested a human smuggler who allegedly had nearly 80 illegal aliens locked inside a refrigerated tractor-trailer. The driver initially fled from the Border Patrol immigration checkpoint in an attempt to avoid arrest.
Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 35 checkpoint observed a refrigerated tractor-trailer approaching for inspection on August 11. While agents questioned the driver and his passenger about their citizenship status, a K-9 agent alerted to the possible presence of drug or human cargo in the truck’s trailer, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from Laredo Sector officials.
Agents directed the driver to a secondary inspection station. The driver allegedly refused to comply continued driving away from the checkpoint. A chase ensued and the driver eventually stopped a few miles down the road.
Officials said the agents opened the rear of the trailer and found 78 illegal aliens who the driver had allegedly locked inside. The agents evaluated the migrants and determined they were in good health despite being locked inside the cold conditions.
Questioning of the migrants revealed they came to the U.S. from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Mexico. Agents took the 75 migrants into custody and they will be processed for removal on immigration violations.
The agents arrested the driver and passenger, both U.S. citizens. They also seized the tractor-trailer. U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Homeland Security Investigations took over the lead on the allegations of human smuggling investigation.
“These criminal organizations continue to use tractor trailers and view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety,” Laredo Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens. “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.”