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Migrant smuggled in tractor trailer calls for help, leading to discovery of 50 more trapped inside


San Antonio police received a call from an apparent illegal immigrant being smuggled in a tractor trailer late last week, leading to the discovery of 50 more. 

Police in San Antonio received the call, but discovered the immigrants 200 miles away in Laredo, Texas on April 22nd. 

According to KENS 5 News, one of the immigrants inside the trailer contacted police at about 2:30 a.m. complaining that it was cold inside the trailer and that they couldn’t breathe. Police pinged the call in San Antonio and began the search for the trailer based on the caller’s mention of a TA. 

Officers searched a TA in San Antonio at I-10 and North Foster Road. They searched with K9s but were unable to find the trailer.  

“They’re just getting desperate,” said SAPD’S Dispatch Center Supervisor Tina Johnson. “They are locked in. They were saying they were cold, and it was getting harder to breathe.”

“We went looking for him,” Johnson said. “He brought up a business called TA.”

“We still couldn’t find them,” she said. “We had officers check both locations in between. Something just didn’t hit right. Something just made me go back and listen to the call again. What are we missing?”

So Johnson scanned the recorded call again and picked up something she had not heard before 

“He said underneath his breath, it says I am in Laredo at mile 13,” she said. “She picks up where he says mile 13 and picks up where he says at the TA.” This description matched the location of a known TA in Laredo, so police contacted Laredo officers, who were able to locate the rig and rescue the 50 immigrants inside. 

“It pings here in San Antonio,” Johnson said. “How it pinged here we have no idea. It is not always accurate. We don’t always have a zeroed in location.”

“If we don’t find someone we are going to research,” she said.  “We do this every day. We save lives every day.”


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