Texas troopers find 25 immigrants in semitrailer

| Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers discovered 25 illegal immigrants, including children, Thursday in a locked tractor-trailer stopped for speeding on I-20 near Sweetwater. The immigrants allegedly entered the country illegally at a crossing near El Paso.

After detecting an odor, the troopers opened the trailer and discovered seventeen men, eight women and four children as young as 3 were inside. The immigrants reportedly were in good health, but lacked food, water or toilet facilities and had been in the trailer for more than 10 hours.

The driver was arrested after officers found more than four grams of methamphetamine, a pistol and $9,620 in cash that may have been paid by the immigrants, according to published reports. The driver, who was not identified, would be charged with alien smuggling.

Last week, workers opening a train car at a grain elevator in Iowa discovered the badly decomposed bodies of 11 people believed to have been illegal immigrants smuggled into the country in June. The seven men and four women reportedly died of extreme heat and dehydration.

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