“Operation Big Rig” Warning Truckers Of Human Smuggling Consequences
McAllen, Texas – Human smuggling and trafficking has grown to epidemic proportions and traffickers are increasingly approaching and enlisting truckers to aid them in their illegal efforts. More than 600 truck drivers have been arrested for smuggling since 2008 just in Laredo, Texas. The consequences for those being smuggled and trafficked can be devastating.
You will no doubt remember the horror last year in San Antonio, Texas when a tractor-trailer filled with illegal immigrants was discovered in a Walmart parking lot. The blazing temperatures caused the deaths of 10 people and 27 others had to be hospitalized. The truck driver, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Fla, was charged in connection with their deaths and will most likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. However, even if people are not killed or injured, if a trucker is arrested and found guilty in connection with a smuggling crime, Congress recently passed legislation to ban such drivers from ever obtaining a CDL again.
This is why a new program called “Operation Big Rig” aims to help educate those training to become truckers about the risks of engaging in this criminal activity and how to deal with it if you are approached by a cartel member. The new program is a one-day information session conducted by U.S. Border Patrol to train new entrants into the trucking profession how to identify smuggling and how to extricate themselves safely from such attempts by smugglers and traffickers. The overarching goal of the program is to help future truckers understand that engaging in this criminal activity is simply not worth the “extra 2-grand” a smuggler may offer you.
Here is a report from 11Alive.com on the new initiative. For more on this story visit 11Alive.com.