Trucker's Route Raising Questions in Investigation
WESLACO – The trucker accused in a deadly smuggling attempt passed the Laredo Customs and Border Protection checkpoint two hours before he was discovered in San Antonio, according to U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar.
James Bradley Jr. is accused of causing the deaths of ten people who were in the U.S. illegally, as he drove a tractor trailer from Laredo to San Antonio. An investigator said a San Antonio police officer found Bradley's trailer packed with dozens of immigrants outside a Wal-Mart.
According to a criminal complaint, Bradley told police he was driving from Schaller, Iowa to Brownsville, Texas. Bradley broke from a more direct route to stop in Laredo for a truck wash, detail and wax, according to the document.
Bradley then drove to San Antonio to Laredo, and planned to head to Brownsville, according to the complaint.
"We couldn't afford to go out of route like that," said Chris Fann, the owner of C. Fann, a Weslaco trucking company.
Fann entered the trip Bradley stated in the report. He compared that to a trip he would plan using trucking software.
Bradley's trip was 316 miles longer than a trip Fann would plan for his own drivers. Fann said the additional miles wouldn't be affordable.
"Almost a dollar a mile, to go out of route like that," Fann added.
There is no known highway from Laredo to San Antonio without a CBP checkpoint.