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Border Patrol agents at Sarita checkpoint find 36 people hiding in the back of a truck

1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 March 30, 2020 8:04 AM March 30, 2020 in News - Local

Border Patrol agents at the Sarita checkpoint found 36 people hiding behind cardboard boxes in the back of a truck on Friday.

At 2:20 p.m. Friday, a white 2009 International Box truck arrived at the Javier Vega Jr. U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Sarita.

The driver, Heriberto Alba Valera, 53, of Houston, said he dropped off furniture in Donna, according to the federal criminal complaint against him.

Agents searched the truck and found 36 people hiding behind empty cardboard boxes in the truck's cargo area.

"All thirty-six individuals located in the cargo area of the box truck claimed to be in the United States illegally," according to the criminal complaint.

Agents arrested Alba Valera on suspicion of transporting an alien within the United States in violation of federal law.

Court records don't list an attorney for Alba Valera, who remains in federal custody and couldn't be reached for comment Monday morning.

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