U.S. Border Patrol recently uncovered a major human smuggling attempt near Laredo, Texas.
The incident occurred on April 16 at the Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) checkpoint north of Laredo.
As a truck entered the checkpoint, Border Patrol agents discovered “multiple anomalies inside the trailer” when it was scanned.
When authorities unsealed the trailer, they discovered 149 individuals locked inside.
Border Patrol says that the individuals were all in the U.S. illegally and hailed from countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, Peru, and Ecuado. All of the individuals were medically screened and provided with PPE.
The truck driver, who is a U.S. citizen, and all of the people inside the trailer were arrested. U.S. Border Patrol seized the truck and trailer.
“Human smugglers continue to have no regard for the safety and health of the people they exploit for profit. With a noted increase in COVID-19 infections among detainees, the transporting of large groups of people without PPE in close dangerous quarters endangers the individuals and safety of our Nation,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release.