An American truck driver pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of transporting 119 illegal immigrants across the border in a refrigerated truck.
The incident happened on January 12 when the 32-year old truck driver, Brodrick Keith Rhodes from Houston arrived at the Freer Border Patrol checkpoint.
Rhodes claimed he was hauling lettuce, but the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol noticed discrepancies in his bill of lading.
Rhodes told authorities he worked for a business in La Porte, but the bill of lading showed he was supposed to be transporting the lettuce from a Laredo produce company to a location in Sugar Land.
“The business indicated Rhodes had never been employed with them nor do they even transport outside the Houston area,” said officials. “The other two companies confirmed they had no record of the shipment.”
According to authorities, Rhodes appeared nervous and his trailer was set to 30 degrees but had an internal temperature of 68 degrees.
After further inspection, 119 immigrants were found concealed in the trailer. According to authorities, the immigrants had been taken to the truck and told to get in the trailer. The truck departed and did not stop moving until it reached the checkpoint.
According to an April 7 announcement by Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery, Rhodes has entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants.
Rhodes faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a potential fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing July 27.
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