84 Guatemalan and Mexican migrants being smuggled in dump truck are rescued in Texas

84 Guatemalan and Mexican migrants being smuggled in dump truck are rescued during traffic stop in southern Texas – driver, 38, under arrest

  • A total of 84 migrants from Guatemala and Mexico were found in a garbage truck in Cotulla, Texas, on Tuesday
  • The discovery was made by state troopers who pulled over the truck driver, Robert Flores Jr., on Interstate 35
  • Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Olivarez said Flores Jr. was transporting the group to San Antonio 

At least 84 undocumented migrants were found hidden in a dump truck during a traffic stop on a highway in Texas one hour away from the border with Mexico on Tuesday.

Texas state troopers made the discovery after the truck driver, Robert Flores Jr., was pulled over on Interstate 35 in Cotulla.

Footage released by the Texas Department of Public Safety showed the some of the migrants sitting on the edge of the container that was sealed with a tarp made out of mesh.

Texas state troopers discovered 84 migrants from Guatemala and Mexico inside a dump truck after the driver was pulled over on Interstate 35 in Cotulla on Tuesday

Texas state troopers discovered 84 migrants from Guatemala and Mexico inside a dump truck after the driver was pulled over on Interstate 35 in Cotulla on Tuesday

Robert Flores Jr., of Poteet, Texas, is facing 84 counts of human smuggling after he was stopped on a road in Cotulla transporting migrants who were unlawfully present in the United States

Robert Flores Jr., of Poteet, Texas, is facing 84 counts of human smuggling after he was stopped on a road in Cotulla transporting migrants who were unlawfully present in the United States

The young men were identified as Guatemalan and Mexican nationals and turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol, according to Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Olivarez.

Flores Jr., of Poteet, Texas, had driven past a ranch road and skipped a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Webb County when he finally stopped.

He has been charged with 84 counts of human smuggling.

Olivarez said Flores Jr. was headed north on Interstate Highway 35 to San Antonio.

State troopers in Texas disrupted a migrant smuggling attempt when a dump truck driver was stopped on Interstate 35 in Cotulla on Tuesday

State troopers in Texas disrupted a migrant smuggling attempt when a dump truck driver was stopped on Interstate 35 in Cotulla on Tuesday

Migrants sit on top of the dump truck and on the ground after the vehicle they were being ferried on was pulled over on Interstate 35 in Cotulla

Migrants sit on top of the dump truck and on the ground after the vehicle they were being ferried on was pulled over on Interstate 35 in Cotulla

U.S. Border Patrol agents registered 2,378,944 encounters with migrants who were stopped for illegally crossing the southwestern border in fiscal year 2022, which spanned from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022

U.S. Border Patrol agents registered 2,378,944 encounters with migrants who were stopped for illegally crossing the southwestern border in fiscal year 2022, which spanned from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022

It’s unknown if the migrants had been smuggled directly from Mexico in the dump truck or if they were already in the United States and were being transported from one of the Texas border cities to San Antonio.

The bust comes a month after the Department of Justice unsealed the indictment of eight defendants in Texas who were part of a $2 million migrant smuggling scheme.

Erminia Serrano and her co-conspirators arranged the transportation and housing of undocumented migrants who were smuggled across the United States-Mexico border near Laredo, Texas, and were then ferried to Austin, San Antonio and other towns in the interior of the country.

Last Friday, U.S. Custom and Border Protection released the southwestern border report for fiscal year ending 2022 and it showed that U.S. Border Patrol agents reported 2,378,944 encounters with migrants who were stopped for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022. 

In comparison, there were 1,734,686 interdictions registered in fiscal year 2021.

Source

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