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Tag: Smuggling

Border Patrol Finds 60 Immigrants inside Refrigerated Trailer Loaded with Ice-Covered Broccoli

About 60 immigrants were found in this frigid trailer. Photo via CBP.

About 60 immigrants were found in this frigid trailer. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents found 60 immigrants in a refrigerated trailer loaded with ice-covered broccoli at a South Texas border checkpoint.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested the trucker at the Falfurrias checkpoint in Texas on smuggling charges. No one was injured, according to a CBP statement.

The temperature inside the trailer was just 49 degrees.

The immigrants, who came from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, were detained and face deportation.

Other Stories of Interest

Driver in Smuggling Operation Said Bodies Were ‘Lying on the Floor Like Meat’

James Matthew Bradley Jr.

James Matthew Bradley Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

They were packed inside a sweltering, pitch-black tractor-trailer, taking turns breathing from a small hole in the semi. The immigrants had no water and banged on the walls of the trailer in vain.

Then they started dying.

James Matthew Bradley Jr., the 60-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer, told authorities Monday he had no idea there was anyone in the truck until he arrived at a Walmart in San Antonio on early Sunday morning. When he opened the door to the trailer, he said “he was run over by ’Spanish’ people and knocked to the ground,” the complaint reads, according to CNN

The Florida man said bodies were “lying on the floor like meat.”

Ten people died. More than a dozen more were in life-threatening condition.

If convicted, Bradley could be sentenced to death on one count of transporting illegal immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death.

Truck Driver Arrested After 9 Immigrants Found Dead in Sweltering Trailer

Tractor trailer found with 39 people packed inside at a Walmart parking lot in Texas.

Tractor trailer found with 39 people packed inside at a Walmart parking lot in Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Florida truck driver was arrested Sunday after a Walmart security guard discovered nearly 40 people packed into a sweltering tractor trailer parked outside of a Walmart in San Antonio, Texas.

Nine of the people died and more than a dozen others suffered life-threatening injuries in what authorities are describing as a “horrific” case of human trafficking, the Washington Post reports

The driver, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Fla., is expected to be charged as early as Monday.

The people were discovered at 12:30 a.m. Sunday by a Walmart security guard who was tipped off that immigrants appeared to be inside a tractor trailer in the parking lot.

San Antonio police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Salame said the case is being handled by ICE because of suspected international smuggling.

“They have to be turned over to the custody of somebody,” he told the Post. “They don’t have anywhere else to go.”

FBI: Seattle Cop Smuggled Massive Amounts of Marijuana to Baltimore

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI busted a Seattle police officer who authorities say helped smuggling hundreds of pounds of marijuana to Baltimore.

Alex Chapackdee, a 17-year veteran of the force, was arrested and was among four men charged with conspiring to distribute marijuana, the Associated Press reports. The 44-year-old office is the brother-in-;aw of the group’s alleged ringleader.

“While (it is) always disturbing to investigate one of our own, I am proud of the detectives and commanders who worked diligently on this case,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a written statement. “Officer Chapackdee’s conduct is disgraceful and disappointing. While he will have his due process in the courts, I hope these charges demonstrate to our community that SPD will not tolerate corrupt behavior in our ranks.”

According to the FBI, Chapackdee drove marijuana from Seattle to Baltimore in his recreational vehicle several times last fall. The FBI said he deposited nearly $20,000 in cash into his bank account.

Chapackdee, who is on unpaid leave, also is accused of accepting $10,000 a month from his brother-in-law to alert him to any law enforcement investigations and to keep an eye on marijuana grow operations,

Chapackdee’s attorney, David Gehrke, declined to comment on the allegations but said the charges have been difficult for him and his family, which includes a wife and four children.

“This is a huge fall from grace, an embarrassment,” Gehrke said.

The investigation was prompted by a confidential source.

Border Patrol Pursuit Leaves 7 Injured After SUV Carrying Illegal Immigrants Crashed

border-patrol-san-diego-sectorBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Seven Mexican nationals were injured when an SUV being pursued by Border Patrol agents crashed in Chula Vista, Calif. on Sunday.

The pursuit began early Sunday afternoon, when an agent spotted a 2000 Ford Expedition SUV and suspected it was carrying illegal immigrants, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports

About three minutes into the pursuit, the SUV veered off the freeway and rolled down an embankment.

All seven occupants were injured, and two people sustained major injuries.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether anyone was arrested.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Pursuit Ends in Crash in California, Injuring 9 Inside

File photo of a Border Patrol vehicle, via Wikipedia.

File photo of a Border Patrol vehicle, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents were chasing an SUV driven by a suspected human smuggler when the Chevrolet Trailblazer crashed Sunday in Lake Moreno, Calif., injuring all nine people inside the vehicle.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that agents attempted to pull over the SUV on state Route 94 in the Campo area shortly before noon. 

The driver, who sped away, crashed about 15 minutes later into a boulder near the entrance to Lake Morena County Park.

One person was in critical condition, while six sustained moderate injuries and two suffered minor injuries.

Agents believe the driver, who is a U.S. citizen, was smuggling the passengers into the U.S. They were all adult Mexican nationals.

“This incident is a sad example of how human smugglers show utter disregard for human life in order to profit from criminal activity,” Mark Endicott, a supervisory Border Patrol agent for the San Diego sector, said in a statement. 

Border Patrol Operation Leads to Arrest of 1,000+ Migrants in Southern California

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 people accused of illegally crossing into the U.S. have been arrested since mid-October as part of an operation to thwart human smuggling near Dulzura in southern Californian.

More Border Patrol agents and resources were sent to the Otay Mountain area to combat illegal crossings, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

“Smugglers are exploiting the most rugged terrain in the county, and we’re countering with this effort,” said Matthew Dreyer, Border Patrol agent and commander of the new task force. 

Because of the treacherous conditions, Border Patrol agents often have to rescue migrants.

“Oftentimes the migrants are not prepared by the smugglers for how difficult the terrain is,” Dreyer said. “Oftentimes they’re left behind when they’re injured, and we’ll have to rescue them.”

New Details Emerge of Border Patrol Agent Accused of Helping Mexican Cartel

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When authorities found a headless body floating near South Padre island in Texas, the investigation led them to a Border Patrol agent accused of helping a Mexican cartel smuggle drugs and weapons across the border.

Agent John Luna is accused of helping his brothers.

New details have emerged, including that investigators said they have found a “treasure trove” of evidence at Luna’s mother-in-law’s house, the Associated Press reports. 

Discovered in a safe at the home were nearly $90,000 in cash and a kilo of cocaine.

Luna, a 31-year-old Iraq War veteran, is accused of capital murder in the death of a mean that was considered a possible snitch.

His attorney, Carlos A. Garcia, claims Luna had nothing to do with the scheme.

“This is a clear-cut case of guilt by association,” Garcia said.

Prosecutors declined to discuss details of the case, but said the safe contained Luna’s Border Patrol badge.

“Drug use and abuse in America is fueling the Mexican cartels, and because of the money and the weapons that go south, we get all the violence,” Garza said. “This case represents that.”

Other Stories of Interest