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Driver who abandoned truck in San Antonio deadly human smuggling attempt arrested, was ‘very high on meth,’ police say

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Authorities have released information on the arrest of the man accused of driving and then abandoning a semi truck and trailer in San Antonio, leading to the death of dozens of people.

Police say that Texas resident Homero Zamorano, 45, was located on foot in a field and arrested after abandoning a truck filled with suspected migrants in the brutal San Antonio heat, leading to the death of 51 people.

The San Antonio Express News reports that law enforcement officials stated that, “[Zamorano] was very high on meth when he was arrested nearby and had to be taken to the hospital.”

The bodies of dozens of people were discovered around 6 p.m. on Monday after a worker heard a cry for help and went to investigate a truck near railroad tracks in the 9600 block of Quintana Road on the outskirts of San Antonio. “(They) found a trailer with the doors partially open and opened them up to take a look and found a number of deceased individuals inside,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon confirmed that the victims included Mexican nationals, Guatemalans, and Hondurans.

Authorities have also identified two other people who have been arrested and charged in connection with the deadly human smuggling incident. Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez, who are reportedly Mexican nationals residing in the U.S. illegally, were charged with “possession of a weapon by an alien illegally in the United States.”

According to criminal complaints filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, “officers researched the Texas registration plate on the semi-truck and found a residence in San Antonio, Texas as the truck’s registered address with Texas motor vehicle records.” After the San Antonio Police Department set up surveillance at the residence, the two suspects were observed attempting to leave the property and arrested.

Ashley C. Hoff, United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas issued a statement on Tuesday on the incident:

“San Antonio first responders and law enforcement discovered a tragic and disturbing scene yesterday evening on the southwest side of San Antonio. Dozens of immigrants were found dead or incapacitated in and around a tractor trailer with over a dozen others hospitalized in critical condition. All were the apparent victims of human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of human life. The South Texas heat is brutal this time of year, especially given the recent record-high temperatures. We will continue to work with the Homeland Security Investigations and the local responders to identify and bring those who were responsible for this tragedy to justice.”

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