Trucker involved in grisly illegal alien smuggling operation will not face death penalty

| September 28, 2017

Trucker James Matthew Bradley Jr. faces the possibility of life in prison for his alleged involvement in an illegal immigrant smuggling operation, which resulted in 10 deaths.

The truck driver accused of knowingly transporting illegal immigrants resulting in 10 deaths earlier this year will not face the possibility of the death penalty, according to a release by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A grand jury returned a superseding indictment last week, charging trucker James Matthew Bradley Jr., and his alleged co-conspirator Pedro Silva-Segura, with the following crimes:

  • One count of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain resulting in death
  • One count of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy
  • Two counts of transporting illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy

Bradley alone also faces the following charges:

  • Transporting illegal aliens resulting in death
  • Transporting illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy
  • Possessing a firearm by a convicted felon

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If convicted, Bradley faces life in prison on the conspiracy and transportation resulting in death charges; 20 years for the conspiracy and transportation resulting in serious bodily injury charges; and 10 years for the felon in possession charge. U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin Jr. announced the government will not seek the death penalty against Bradley.

Bradley previously pleaded not guilty on an earlier indictment in August.

Bradley’s truck was discovered shortly after midnight on July 23 with 39 undocumented aliens trapped inside a sweltering trailer in a San Antonio Walmart parking lot. Ten of the people inside the trailer were either dead when police arrived or later died in a hospital. Court documents state there were between 70 and 200 people in the trailer during transport. The trailer had a reefer unit, but Bradley told authorities during the investigation he knew it didn’t work.

According to court documents, Bradley told police he was taking the trailer to Brownsville, Texas, for Pyle Transportation to deliver the trailer to someone who purchased it, but said he was not given a time frame to deliver the trailer or a delivery address. He told them that before going to San Antonio, he had been in Laredo, Texas, getting his truck washed and detailed.

Additionally, Bradley had his Florida CDL revoked in April. The firearm charges stem from authorities finding a .38 caliber pistol in the truck at the scene, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.

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