Truck Drivers Not Required to Check Trailers for Contraband
WESLACO – There are no regulations requiring all commercial truck drivers to visually inspect the contents of their trailers, according to responses by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS requested information from the agencies following the death of ten immigrants aboard a tractor trailer found in San Antonio.
According to reports, truck driver James Matthew Bradley Jr. said he didn't know what he was carrying.
In a written statement, the U.S. Department of Transportation said the agency is investigating the case.
Claiming to not know the contents of a trailer isn't a strong defense to Sergio Sanchez, an Edinburg criminal defense attorney.
"That doesn't absolve you of any criminal intent or liability in a case like this," he said.
Sanchez said a driver may argue if illegal items are concealed from his view. However, he said he doesn't think the same defense would hold for illegal items in plain view inside a trailer.
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