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Suspected driver of 18-wheeler at center of San Antonio migrant tragedy makes first court appearance

Homero Zamorano, Jr. stood before a judge Thursday at the US Courthouse in the Western District of Texas on Thursday afternoon.

SAN ANTONIO — The suspected driver of a truck that carried dozens of migrants into south-central Texas this week remains in federal custody following his arrest. 

Homero Zamorano, Jr. stood before a judge Thursday at the U.S. Courthouse in the Western District of Texas. Zamorano was identified as the man photographed at a U.S. Customs checkpoint in a red 18-wheeler where more than 60 migrants were being ferried. 

The photo of Zamorano was taken hours before he was arrested in southwest San Antonio for this smuggling case that has resulted in the deaths of at least 53 migrants and injuries to several others.

While no cameras were allowed inside the courtroom, crews spotted Zamorano in a white T-shirt as he faced Judge Elizabeth Chestney for six minutes before he was detained.


During the hearing, Zamorano was read his single charge of illegal transportation of immigrants—which carries a penalty of life in prison if he is convicted.

Zamorano is being represented by a federal public defender and will have no bond at this time.

Zamorano next has a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday, July 6 at 11 a.m. Two other suspects connected to the case will have their preliminary hearing on Friday at the U.S. Courthouse in downtown San Antonio.


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