U.S. Trucker Arrested in Major Big Rig Human Smuggling Operation
Laredo, TX – A trucker who is a United States citizen was arrested last week after U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents intercepted a large human smuggling attempt at the Interstate 35 checkpoint near Laredo.
According to CBP, the incident occurred late in the evening hours of Tuesday, January 21, when a white tractor-trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint north of Laredo.
During an immigration inspection of the driver, a service canine alerted to the trailer.
Agents then referred the vehicle to a secondary inspection.
However, CBP says the driver failed to stop and continued to drive north until coming to a rest in a nearby open field.
The trucker then fled from the vehicle on foot.
Agents opened the abandoned trailer and discovered 63 individuals, all illegally present in the United States from the countries of El Salvador, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and China.
Agents conducted an extensive search of the area and subsequently apprehended the trucker.
The driver, along with the individuals found in the trailer, were placed under arrest pending investigation, CBP confirms.
The tractor and trailer were also seized and the case was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
This makes the sixth major big rig human smuggling attempt thwarted by CBP just in the month of January.
In total, close to 200 people have been arrested in connection with these incidents.
Click HERE to read more about these busts.