A Texas-based truck driver has been convicted on a conspiracy charge related to a large-scale human trafficking attempt.
Laredo resident David William McKeon, 67, was found guilty by a federal jury on a charge of conspiracy to transport undocumented aliens, according to a July 20 announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.
The human smuggling effort involving McKeon was thwarted on April 20, 2022, when McKeon arrived at the Laredo North Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint while driving a tractor trailer.
Officers heard suspicious noises coming from the trailer. After looking through a vent door, they discovered 124 people inside the sealed trailer.
While McKeon’s defense attempted to convince the jury that he was unaware that anyone was inside the trailer, the jury heard testimony that McKeon was recruited for the human smuggling job while attending a birthday party a few days before April 20.
The jury also heard that McKeon “picked up the tractor-trailer from a dirt road then was given a fraudulent bill of lading in the parking lot of a Popeye’s restaurant before driving to the checkpoint.”
McKeon’s sentencing date has not yet been scheduled and he will remain in custody. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.