FALFURRIAS, Texas – The Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol Agents rescued a group of 60 illegal immigrants from a tractor-trailer carrying a load of produce.
The discovery happened Saturday morning when agents referred a tractor-trailer driver to an inspection after a canine alerted agents. When they opened the doors, Border agents found the people laying on and within pallets of broccoli lined with a thin sheet of ice.
According to Border Patrol, the doors of the trailer were secured with a padlock and the people had no means of escape as the trailer's temperature read 49 degrees.
Medical attention was offered to the rescued people but all declined, according to Border Patrol. The 60 people were transported to the Falfurrias Border Patrol Station and processed accordingly. The group consisted of 22 Guatemalans, 17 Mexicans, 13 Salvadorans, and eight Hondurans.
The driver, a Guatemalan national, was arrested and is pending federal charges for alien smuggling. The case is being coordinated with HSI.
"Criminal activity like this will also lead to serious consequences for truck drivers who engage in smuggling," RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla Jr said.
Border Patrol encourages the public to take a stand against crime in their communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.