U.S. Trucker Nabbed in Large Big Rig Human Smuggling Bust
Laredo, TX – A trucker was nabbed on Thursday in a large big rig human smuggling attempt at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 35.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the bust occurred in the morning hours of April 30, when a white commercial tractor hauling a white trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint.
After an immigration inspection of the driver, a non-intrusive scan of the tractor-trailer revealed multiple individuals being smuggled inside the trailer.
Agents then cut the trailer seal and searched its interior.
CBP says a total of 36 individuals were discovered concealed inside.
All were illegally present in the United States, and are from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador, CBP reports.
All were also evaluated by an Emergency Medical Technician at the time of the incident.
However, CBP says no one required immediate medical attention.
Each of the individuals being smuggled, and the driver, a U.S. Citizen, were taken into custody pending further investigation.
“Disturbing Trend” Continues
Last week, CBP reported it has experienced a spike in big rig human smuggling attempts at the nation’s Southern border during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino, of the El Centro Sector, said that despite unprecedented cross-border travel restrictions due to the national emergency, human smugglers are continuing a “disturbing trend.”
“The increase in tractor-trailer smuggling continues to illustrate the total disregard that smuggling organizations have for the well-being of the people they are smuggling,” said Bovino. “Our agents will continue to work tirelessly in protecting the safety and security of all human life.”
In March, El Centro Sector agents discovered 42 smuggled immigrants dangerously packed inside of a utility trailer near the border in Calexico.
Read more about it HERE.
Also this month, agents in Laredo disrupted multiple human smuggling operations.
Click HERE to read more about these cases.