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Border Patrol agents bust human smuggler with nearly 80 migrants locked in refrigerated trailer

August 15, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Border Patrol agents bust human smuggler with nearly 80 migrants locked in refrigerated trailer

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Agents with U.S. Border Patrol in South Texas apprehended a human smuggler who reportedly had close to 80 undocumented migrants locked inside a refrigerated tractor-trailer.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release, the driver originally tried to flee from the immigration checkpoint to evade arrest.

Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 35 checkpoint of the Laredo Sector noticed a refrigerated tractor-trailer driving up for inspection on August 11th.

While agents interviewed the driver and his passenger about their citizenship, a K-9 agent signaled to the presence of drugs or human cargo in the trailer.

Agents ordered the driver to go to the secondary inspection station.

The driver reportedly refused to comply started to drive away from the checkpoint.

A chase ensued and the driver eventually pulled over a few miles away.

Authorities indicated that the agents opened the back of the trailer and discovered 78 migrants who the driver had reportedly locked inside.

Border Patrol agents rescued 78 migrants within a refrigerated tractor-trailer that had failed to stop for a secondary inspection at the Interstate 35 Border Patrol checkpoint.

The agents assessed the migrants and found that they were in good health despite being inside cold conditions.

After the immigrants were questioned, it was learned that they came to the United States from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Mexico. Agents detained the migrants and will process them for removal on immigration violations.

The agents took the driver and passenger, who are both U.S. citizens, into custody. They also seized the tractor-trailer. Homeland Security Investigations has taen over the investigation.

“These criminal organizations use tractor trailers and view these individuals as commodities without regard for their safety,” Laredo Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens stated. “The blatant disregard for life will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and prosecute those responsible.”

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