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Man Describes Deadly Smuggling Case in Criminal Complaint

4 years 3 months 16 hours ago Monday, July 24 2017 Jul 24, 2017 July 24, 2017 9:14 PM July 24, 2017 in News

WESLACO – A driver is facing human smuggling charges after 10 people died inside a tractor-trailer in San Antonio.

A criminal complaint described how a DHS Homeland Security Investigations agent interviewed one of the survivors.

The man, of central Mexico, told authorities he was going from Mexico to San Antonio.

In order to cross the Rio Grande, he was told by his smuggler that people linked to the Zetas drug cartel would charge $11,000 pesos for protection and $1,500 pesos to cross the river by raft.

The total is estimated to be more than $700.

After crossing into the U.S. side, the man told investigators they walked for a day before being picked up by a truck, which then took a group of about 28 people to the trailer.

The man said they weren’t given any food or water. He said the same day he was placed in the trailer, people inside with him were already trying to get someone’s attention to let them out but no one ever came to their rescue.

The man told authorities after the first hour of transportation, people were having trouble breathing and started to pass out. He said they started taking turns breathing from a hole in the trailer wall for fresh air.

Once in San Antonio, the man said someone opened the doors and some in the group swarmed out to vehicles waiting to pick them up.

The man said he was supposed to pay his smuggler $5,500 when they got to San Antonio, but he was sent to the hospital before he could meet with him. 

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