ICE, Homeland Security ask for help investigating hot truck smuggling tragedy

Federal agencies are asking the public for leads in their investigation into the smuggling tragedy that ended in San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO - Life in prison or the death penalty could await the truck driver charged with transporting at least 39 undocumented immigrants in a sweltering hot semi-truck from an area near Laredo to San Antonio.

Ten of those people died, but in the coming days, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will investigate the 29 others.

Monica Maple, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, said the agency is exhausting all leads to make sure those behind the organized crime are brought to justice.
 
"There's a lot of elements into these organizations, on all levels," Maple said. "Between the foreign countries they start in, and then all of the players within the United States."

Maple said their investigation begins with taking leads from the public.

"I'm very confident that people have information about this, and they may be reluctant to come forward," Maple said.

34 of the 39 people found on the trailer are said to be from Mexico, two from Guatemala and the nationality of the others is still unknown. The consulates from their respective countries are said to be helping them understand their rights, what happens next is reconnecting them with their families.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security is looking into who, if anyone, is gaining from their risky journey.

"The criminal networks do not care about these people, it's a dollar sign on their forehead" Maple said. "If there's more money, and there's more will to come, its never going to end."

ICE said help from the public will be critical in its investigation. If you know anything about the incident that could help, contact ICE's tip line at 866-DHS-2-ICE.

© 2017 KENS-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment