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Driver in “withdrawals” attempted migrant smuggling for $3.5k

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An attempted migrant smuggling ended in an arrest of a truck driver at the Interstate 35 checkpoint in Texas late last week. 

The incident occurred on February 8th at 7:36 p.m. as a white Freightliner arrived at the checkpoint driven by Rodolfo Villareal. 

According to Laredo Morning Times, Villareal gave the okay for an agent to look inside the cab, and the agent noticed “body-like shapes in the cab.” The agent then asked Villareal directly if there were migrants inside and he confirmed the presence of migrants. 

“A search of the cargo area of the vehicle revealed 18 (migrants) hidden within the tractor truck cab including one (migrant) locked in a small compartment with no means of escape,” the affidavit states. Villareal was then placed under arrest. 

Homeland Security Investigations agents took over the case, and Villareal agreed to a post-arrest statement. 

“Villarreal stated he was to be paid $3,500 to smuggle the 18 (migrants) north of the checkpoint. Villarreal reported he was experiencing heroin withdrawals from approximately four hours prior but repeatedly stated he was in a stable mindset and understood his rights.”

Villareal was charged with transport, attempt to transport and conspire to transport the migrants.

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