Unlicensed truck driver caught smuggling 41 illegal immigrants inside trailer, all for $1,000 cash

An unlicensed truck driver was caught attempting to smuggle 41 illegal immigrants from Mexico to Texas at a Border Patrol Checkpoint late last month. 

The man was caught on February 22nd at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint located on Texas 359, west of Hebbronville.

According to LMT News, 21-year-old Leobardo Mandujano, a Mexican citizen, was on his way to Houston when he passed through the checkpoint. 

Upon routine inspection of his tractor trailer, agents say that Mandujano disclosed that he did not have a commercial drivers license and “began stuttering his words and was visibly shaking while answering questions.”

A K9 then alerted the potential presence of contraband inside of the tractor trailer, and Mandujano was referred to secondary inspection, where agents discovered 41 people inside the back of the trailer. 

Mandujano and the illegal immigrants were then taken into custody. 

In a post-arrest statement, Mandujano “stated an individual known to him as ‘Flaco’ hired him to drive the tractor-trailer from Laredo, Texas to Houston, Texas for $1,000.” Mandujano also disclosed that he had known ‘Flaco’ for about six years but was not aware of his real name. Mandujano said ‘Flaco’ had given him a cellphone and instructed him to contact him once he reached Houston for instructions on where to drop off the trailer. Mandujano says he was under the impression he was hauling auto parts. 

Mandujano has been charged with transport, attempt to transport and conspire to transport the immigrants.