LAREDO — Border agents found 48 illegal immigrants in the back of a tractor trailer during a routine stop at a checkpoint in south Texas.
The trailer was refrigerated, according to the driver’s attorney, and all of those in the trailer declined medical treatment, immigration officials said.
The driver, Wayne West of Balch Springs, was charged with transporting illegal immigrants, according to court documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Laredo. He’s scheduled for a detention hearing on Friday.
His attorney, Russell Jordan, said he couldn’t say much about the case because the investigation is still being done, but he noted that the trailer was refrigerated and no one was injured.
An inspection dog alerted border agents to the presence of people or drugs in the trailer during the stop, authorities said.
West, a semiretired trucker, first said he didn’t know what he was transporting, but later admitted that he knew he was transporting illegal immigrants for profit and said he was working with an unnamed person, according to the court filing.
The immigrants were from Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, said Nina Pruneda, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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