CBP Agents Rescue 72 People in US Illegally Tractor Trailers

Related Story

FALFURRIAS – Two truck drivers were arrested Friday for smuggling 48 immigrants without documentation.

The people were rescued in two separate cases, at two different border patrol checkpoints.

U.S. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector officials told CHANNEL 5 NEWS, despite the many tragedies, the human smuggling attempts in tractor trailers continue.

"This week alone we've had four tractor trailer incidents at the check points, that yielded over 72 rescues," Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan Di Bella said.

Two of the biggest busts came at the Sarita and Falfurrias checkpoints. 

In Sarita, 14 people were on board a refrigerated trailer. In Falfurrias, 34 people risked their lives inside a hot trailer.

"The smuggler has very little regard for life, as we saw in San Antonio. We saw it in Victoria, Texas," Di Bella said, "and unfortunately, they'll do whatever they can to get their commodity across. That being, humans stuck in the back of a tractor trailer."

The U.S. Border Patrol is taking a different approach on warning people about these dangers. Agents are visiting truck driving schools, spreading the message to those behind the wheel.

"We teach them things like what to look for in a truck, how to do a truck inspection," Di Bella said. "We also teach them about the consequences if they do decide to bring-in a load of immigrants."

Di Bella said truck drivers are responsible for their trucks. They can face human smuggling and endangerment charges, if caught with humans illegally on board.

The drivers caught in Sarita and Falfurrias were arrested. One was a U.S. Citizen, the other a Mexican national.

None of the undocumented immigrants suffered serious injuries.


7 Days