Truck Driver Arrested After 33 People Found Hidden Inside Deadly Hot Trailer
Tucson, Arizona – A 37-year-old Mexican truck driver was arrested for human smuggling after 33 illegal aliens were found hidden in his trailer at the Interstate 19 Immigration Checkpoint Tuesday night.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), Nogales agents working the primary inspection lanes referred the driver of a 2002 Freightliner tractor and refrigerated trailer to the secondary inspection area for further immigration related questioning.
A search of the trailer, which was filled with produce from Mexico, led agents to discover 33 foreign nationals from Mexico and El Salvador hiding inside.
The group concealed inside the trailer included 12 juveniles in age from three to 17, a pregnant female, and a convicted felon, CBP reported.
According to investigators, the interior of the trailer was nearly 100 degrees, causing imminent danger to the people locked inside with no means of escaping.
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) July 4, 2019
Although the trailer was equipped with a refrigeration unit, the driver did not have it turned on, CBP officials said.
The Mexican truck driver was arrested and charged with felony human smuggling violations in a federal complaint.
The 33 people being smuggled were taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody and will be processed for immigration violations.
THANK YOU to our heroic Border Patrol agents, whose vigilance caught this smuggler and potentially saved lives! pic.twitter.com/uvKQzBFPR1
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 3, 2019
In an effort to prevent fatalities at the hands of smugglers, Department of Homeland Security has recently launched “Operation Safeguard” to educate the public and the trucking industry on the life-threatening dangers involved in using commercial conveyances to smuggle humans.
To read more of our recent coverage of the ongoing fight against human smuggling in big rigs, click HERE.