Three truckers busted smuggling immigrants across U.S.-Mexico border

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Laredo Border Patrol agents found 55 illegal aliens in sweltering conditions in a locked tractor-trailer at the Interstate 35 Border Patrol checkpoint last week. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)Laredo Border Patrol agents found 55 illegal aliens in sweltering conditions in a locked tractor-trailer at the Interstate 35 Border Patrol checkpoint last week. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)

Three truck drivers were arrested in the last week in Texas by U.S. Border Patrol agents after being caught smuggling illegal immigrants across the border.

On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Border Patrol agents on I-35 near Laredo, Texas, found 55 illegal immigrants inside a trailer. During a routine border inspection, a service K-9 alerted agents to the odor of drugs and/or concealed humans.

When agents broke the trailer’s seal, they found “potentially lethal” conditions inside with an internal temperature near 100 degrees and limited airflow. After undergoing emergency medical evaluations on site, the 55 immigrants were found to be in stable health.

Agents arrested the truck driver, a U.S. citizen, and the 55 immigrants and seized the tractor-trailer.

The next day at a separate border checkpoint, Border Patrol agents found another 10 illegal immigrants concealed inside another tractor-trailer. Agents at the Falfurrias, Texas, checkpoint were alerted during an inspection by a K-9 to the cab, where the 10 individuals were found. The driver, a United States citizen, was arrested.

Then, on Sunday, Sept. 9, Border Patrol agents at the I-35 checkpoint near Laredo found 47 immigrants inside a reefer trailer.

The truck was in the primary inspection lane and was asked to go to the secondary inspection area after a K-9 alerted agents to the tractor and trailer. At this point, the trucker sped off and agents had to pursue the 2017 Freightliner until they got the driver to stop at milemarker 30 along I-35. Agents then inspected the trailer and found the 47 illegal immigrants.

The driver and a passenger, both U.S. citizens, were arrested, along with the immigrants. The case was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.

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