17 People Found Hiding in Flatbed Truck, U.S. Driver Arrested
Laredo, TX – A U.S. truck driver was arrested last week in Texas when U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents discovered 17 individuals in a large human smuggling attempt.
According to CBP, the incident unfolded during the early hours of Friday, February 7, at the Freer Border Patrol Station located west of Freer, TX.
CBP says a canine alerted agents to a flatbed commercial truck hauling cement sacks, blocks and square tubing.
Agents inspected the cargo and discovered a hollowed out space within the square tubing containing multiple individuals.
Agents successfully extracted the men and women from the confined space and determined that all were illegally present in the United States.
The individuals were from the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico.
The driver, a U.S. citizen, and the 17 individuals were arrested.
The vehicle was seized by CBP.
The case was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
This incident marked the first thwarting of a major human smuggling attempt by commercial truck in the month of February.
The second occurred this week when a Mexican trucker using a fake California driver’s license attempted to transport 26 people into the U.S. illegally.
January saw six such big rig human smuggling busts.
More than 200 people were arrested in connection to those incidents.
For more recent big rig smuggling busts, click HERE.