Illegal Alien Drives 85 Migrants to Texas Border to Pay His Own Smuggling Fee

Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents find a large group of migrants locked inside a tractor-trailer. (U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector)
U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector

An illegal alien from Mexico pleaded guilty to trying to drive a tractor-trailer carrying 85 migrants through a Border Patrol checkpoint in Texas. The individuals inside suffered from suffocatingly high temperatures. The smuggling attempt came weeks before 53 migrants died in another trailer.

Recently, Jose Luis Vega Arzate, 31, went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo in Laredo where he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens. Vega Arzate is from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and was in the country illegally at the time of his arrest. The man told authorities that he was driving as a way to pay off his own smuggling fees.

The case began on May 10, when Vega Arzate drove a tractor-trailer with 85 migrants hidden inside to a Border Patrol checkpoint just north of Laredo, court documents revealed.

During their initial inspection agents noticed that Vega Arzate spoke in broken English, was sweating, and appeared nervous. The agents told him to move to a secondary area where they would scan the vehicle with an X-ray device, however, Vega Arzate had trouble shifting the truck’s gears to comply.

Authorities used a police dog who signaled to the trailer. Agents apprehended 85 migrants and provided first aid.

During questioning, Vega Arzate told agents that he did not hold a commercial driver’s license and was in the country illegally. He claimed that he had been smuggled into Laredo two days before and was taken to a human stash house. There, he agreed to drive the tractor-trailer in exchange for getting his smuggling fees lowered from $8,000 to $2,500.

The smuggling attempt in May came weeks before 53 migrants died in another hot trailer between Laredo to San Antonio.

Luisana Moreno is a contThereributing writer for Breitbart Texas.


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