Federal authorities arrested 85 illegal aliens last month as they were being smuggled into the U.S., including as many as 15 Mexicans packed into the sleeper of one big rig.
According to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release, four tractor-trailers were stopped in a five-hour span as they prepared to enter the U.S. from Mexico at Laredo, TX, on Feb. 15.
During routine Customs and Border Patrol inspection, agents noticed suspicious activity from inside the trailers and were alerted by on-site canines. That prompted the agents to send drivers for secondary inspections.
Fifteen Mexicans were found hiding inside the first truck’s sleeper berth at 7 p.m., followed by 12 Mexicans and three Guatemalans found in the second truck’s sleeper. Before 11 p.m. agents found 32 illegal aliens locked in a truck’s trailer “with no means of escape,” the release stated.
Only a few minutes later, agents discovered 20 Mexicans, two Hondurans and a Salvadoran locked in a different trailer.
“All those discovered inside the trailers appeared to be in good health; they declined medical attention,” ICE officials reported.
“This criminal activity clearly re-emphasizes the fact that human smugglers have no regard for human life,” said Jerry Robinette, special agent-in-charge for the ICE Office of Investigations in San Antonio. “ICE will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who blatantly disregard the laws of this nation.”
The news release didn’t indicate whether the trucks were domiciled in Mexico or the United States.