New Details Emerge About Trucker Arrested For Smuggling 62 Illegal Immigrants

Laredo, Texas – The truck driver who attempted to smuggle 62 illegal immigrants into the U.S. in a refrigerated trailer has been identified and charged with numerous federal crimes. Barbara Jean Hutchinson, 64, was charged via a criminal complaint filed Aug. 31 with transport, attempt to transport and conspire to transport undocumented immigrants. She remains in federal custody.

On August 29 she at approximately 5:30 p.m. she attempted to ease through the U.S. Border and Customs checkpoint on Interstate 35 in Laredo, Texas. According to court documents, agents said they became suspicious when Hutchinson did not stop once reaching primary inspection. Instead, she slowly kept moving forward. Agents then asked to X-ray the vehicle and noticed the refrigerated trailer was set to 52 degrees. Hutchinson consented to the X-ray and after noticing anomalies the agents then opened the trailer and discovered 62 people inside, according to documents filed in the case.

U.S. Border Patrol

In the affidavit, material witnesses identified Hutchinson as the person who told them before shutting the trailer’s door, “Is everyone OK? Have a good trip.” Agents confirmed that each of the illegal immigrants were found in good health.

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

Hutchinson has requested an attorney. Agents with the Department Of Homeland Security have now taken over the investigations in this case.

Transportation Nation Network recently reported on a new program called “Operation Big Rig.” The new program is being operated by U.S. Border Patrol and aims to educate those training to become truck drivers the risks and dangers of getting involved in human smuggling. You can watch that report HERE.

U.S. Border Patrol

Have you been a witness to human smuggling? We’d like to hear from you. Sound off in the comments below. Remember, you must be logged in to comment. Thank you.

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