Truck Driver Charged With Human Smuggling Claims He Found Job on Facebook
Laredo, TX — A truck driver charged with human smuggling claims he responded to an advertisement on Facebook which ultimately led to his arrest.
According to a criminal complaint, truck driver David Perez Velasquez —along with his alleged accomplice, Israel Esparza — were arrested on November 22, at the Freer Border Patrol Checkpoint on U.S. 59, east of Laredo.
Investigators said the smuggling bust occurred at approximately 11:45 p.m. when Velasquez approached the checkpoint operating a red tractor-trailer.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection K-9 alerted to the trailer and Velasquez was referred for a secondary inspection.
Upon further examination, 76 illegal migrants were found in the trailer, authorities said.
A short time later, a gray Chevrolet pickup driven by Esparza also arrived at the checkpoint.
Esparza stated he was traveling to New Mexico but was lost.
However, in a post-arrest interview, Velasquez identified Esparza as his accomplice having instructed him to follow the tractor-trailer.
In fact, Velasquez said Esparza was driving a pickup truck belonging to his mother at the time of the arrests.
Further, according to an affidavit, Velasquez claimed he saw and responded to an ad on Facebook.
He alleges he was told he would be paid $500 to pick up a trailer and drive it to San Antonio or Houston.
Velasquez also stated he offered Esparza $100 to help him.
While he denied having knowledge of the human cargo, Velasquez did admit he believed he was smuggling narcotics.
Both men are charged with transport, attempt to transport and conspire to transport the illegal migrants.