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Truck driver sentenced to federal prison for smuggling humans in a load of onions

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A Texas truck driver has been sentenced to federal prison for a human smuggling attempt that occurred last year.

On Wednesday, January 26, 28 year old truck driver Rene Garcia of San Benito, Texas, was sentenced to 41 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Garcia pleaded guilty to charges related to transporting undocumented immigrants on August 5, 2021.

Garcia was arrested on May 13, 2021 after attempting to drive a truck loaded with pallets of onions through the Falfurrias Border Patrol BP checkpoint.

A canine unit alerted to the truck and the vehicle was referred for a secondary inspection.

Officers discovered 51 individuals hidden among the pallets of onions in the trailer.

“At least one of them reported that it was hard to breathe and there was no way to escape in the event of an emergency,” officials said in a news release.

Garcia later told authorities that he made arrangements with someone in San Benito to smuggle the aliens through the Falfurrias checkpoint and onto Houston.

Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol conducted the investigation.

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