Trucker Promised $25,000 to Haul Load of Drugs Into U.S. Gets Quite a Surprise
Laredo, TX – A trucker caught smuggling more than 100 illegal immigrants into the United States says he thought he was hauling a load of narcotics for an astounding rate of $25,000.
Jonathan Kyle Price, a U.S. citizen, was arrested on Friday, February 19, after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents discovered 117 people inside a refrigerated semi-trailer he was pulling.
According to his arrest affidavit, Price approached the Interstate 35 immigration checkpoint at approximately 8:55 p.m.
He allegedly told authorities he was hauling a load of produce.
However, he was subsequently referred for a secondary inspection after a K-9 alerted to the big rig.
That’s when Price decided to make a run for it.
“The tractor-trailer proceeded to leave the checkpoint driving erratically and by-passing other tractor trailers by cutting them off,” court documents state.
Authorities pursued the big rig along I-35 and stopped it near mile marker 31.
Officers said Price was “verbally resistant” to commands but eventually complied with instructions to return to the checkpoint.
When CBP agents finally searched the vehicle they made the discovery which Price said came as a surprise to him.
“Price stated he believed he was hauling narcotics to San Antonio, TX,” the affidavit states. “Price claimed he had hauled one previous load of suspected narcotics to San Antonio … and had been paid $25,000.”
Further, court documents allege that in a post-arrest interview, Price admitted he agreed to transport the load which he believed was illegal drugs.
He said he was promised a whopping $25,000 to haul it approximately 160 miles from Laredo to San Antonio.
It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out he was expecting to receive a rate of more than $155 per mile.
Price is facing multiple human smuggling charges, and if convicted, up to 30 years in prison.