Border patrol finds 51 migrants locked in trailer

| 10/25/2002

Texas Border Patrol agents working a highway checkpoint station Tuesday night in Laredo uncovered 51 illegal immigrants in a locked tractor-trailer bound for San Antonio. The driver reportedly was paid $2,000 to drive through the checkpoint.

A dog trained to detect contraband and human cargo reportedly was alerted to the rear doors of the trailer. The agents unlocked the trailer and found migrants from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras.

The agents arrested the driver, a U.S. citizen, on federal smuggling charges. The migrants reportedly had each agreed to pay $1,000 to an unidentified smuggler once they got jobs. There were no injuries.

On Oct. 17, Texas state troopers discovered 25 illegal immigrants, including children, 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.