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123 immigrants discovered inside trailer of driver who says he was “not aware” he was transporting people


A truck driver was arrested in Texas last week after Border Patrol Agents discovered more than 120 unducumented immigrants in the back of his trailer. 

The smuggling attempt was discovered on MArch 24th at around 7:50 p.m. at the Interstate 35 checkpoint in Texas. 

According to LMT Online, Jesse Doria Thomas, a truck driver of 27 years, was attempting to pass through the checkpoint when a Border Patrol Agent recognized that the trailer matched the description of one involved in a suspected smuggling attempt. The agent then asked Thomas about his cargo, but Thomas “muttered an answer that was not understood.”

A K9 unit then inspected the trailer and alerted to the presence of contraband, so the trailer was referred to secondary inspection where an agent used bolt cutters to break the trailer seal and open the doors, revealing 123 immigrants inside. Thomas was promptly arrested.

When interviewed, Thomas told agents that he had received a call earlier in the day offering him a job driving a semi truck from a yard in Laredo to the Fuel America Travel Center off of Interstate 35. The caller was then supposed to pick up the rig and drive it to Austin. 

Thomas stated that he picked up the rig on the side of the road in the Mines Road area and drove to the checkpoint where he was arrested. 

“Thomas stated he was going to get paid $100 for the pick up and drop off of the tractor-trailer. During the collection of biographical information, Thomas stated he has been a truck driver for 27 years and stated he did not verify the bill of lading or check the trailer when he picked up the tractor-trailer. Thomas stated he did not know what he was hauling and was not aware he was transporting undocumented individuals concealed inside the trailer,” states the affidavit.

The incident is still under investigation.


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