Trucker Caught in Human Smuggling Operation Reveals How Much She Was to be Paid
Laredo, TX – A trucker facing multiple charges after she was caught attempting to smuggle 35 people into the United States earlier this month admitted to investigators what she was to be paid.
According to criminal complaint filed last Wednesday in federal court, Monica Monique Anderson, of Kennesaw, GA, is charged with transport, attempt to transport and conspire to transport immigrants who had crossed the border illegally.
The charges stem from a July 13 smuggling bust at the U.S. Highway 83 checkpoint in north Laredo.
Anderson was operating a a gold 2018 Freightliner hauling a white trailer when during a secondary inspection she “readily admitted” illegal immigrants were in the big rig’s load of 26 large pallets of iron ornaments.
Upon opening the trailer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents found 35 individuals from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
What’s more, CBP agents reported the temperature inside the trailer at the time was recorded to be a deadly 126.1 Fahrenheit.
All were evaluated and offered medical attention by a Border Patrol emergency medical technician, CBP said.
Authorities said Anderson then agreed to speak to Homeland Security Investigators (HSI) without a lawyer present and revealed more about the thwarted operation.
“Anderson stated she is employed as a truck driver and was transporting the load of metal ornaments from Laredo, TX to California,” the affidavit states. “Anderson stated she agreed to transport the 35 unknown individuals found in the tractor-trailer to San Antonio, TX for members of a human smuggling organization (HSO).”
Further, Anderson told investigators she was specifically told by the human smuggling bosses not to travel by Interstate Highway 35.
Anderson said she was told she would receive further instructions by cellphone on precisely where to drop the trailer once she had cleared inspection.
And how much was she being paid to risk her freedom and a lifetime ban on making a living as a professional commercial driver?
According to court documents, Anderson was to receive a sum total of $6,500 for safely delivering the human cargo to its destination.
This amounts to $185.71 per person being smuggled.
CBP recently issued a national “Call to Action” imploring the public to call 9-1-1 if you see or are aware of smuggling or suspicious activity of any kind.
As temperatures rise along the U.S. Southern border, CBP warns lives could be lost due to the disregard of human smugglers.
“Alien smuggling and human trafficking are a lucrative business conducted with no regard for human life,” CBP said in a statement.