FALFURRIAS, Texas – Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol Agents rescued a large group of aliens who were commingled within a load of produce.
Early Saturday morning, agents referred a tractor trailer driver to secondary inspection after a canine alerted to the discovery of the aliens laying on and within pallets of broccoli lined with a thin sheet of ice.
The doors of the trailer were secured with a padlock and the subjects had no means of escape. The trailer’s temperature reading was 49 degrees Fahrenheit.
Medical attention was offered to the rescued aliens but all declined. They were transported to the Falfurrias Border Patrol Station and processed accordingly. The group consisted of 22 Guatemalans, 17 Mexicans, 13 Salvadorans, and eight Hondurans.
The driver, a Guatemalan national, was arrested and is pending federal charges for alien smuggling. The case is being coordinated with HSI.
RGV Sector Border Patrol urges immigrants against entrusting callous smugglers and we continuously warn against the dangers of people crossing illegally into the United States through dangerous environmental conditions and cases such as this where smugglers jeopardize the lives of aliens by locking them in tractor trailers.
"Criminal activity like this will also lead to serious consequences for truck drivers who engage in smuggling," said RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla Jr.
The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.
Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection or follow us on Twitter at @CBPRGV.