[Updated] Laredo Trucks Drivers, Others Charged in Massive Human Smuggling Scheme

They are believed to have smuggled hundreds of illegal immigrants into the United States but now, 41 truck drivers, guides, brokers, recruiters and smuggling leaders are facing criminal charges.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents started the investigation in Laredo but made the arrests across several American cities over the last seven weeks.

Investigators said the group used truck drivers to smuggle at least 376 illegal immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras into the United States.

Most of the immigrants were discovered tractor trailers and attempting to pass through different checkpoints in and around Laredo.

Most of the discoveries were made during routine inspections after they noticed suspicious activity coming from inside the trailers or they were alerted by on-site canines on duty.

Each immigrant allegedly paid $500 to $3,000 depending on their destination.

All 41 of the accused human smugglers have already appeared before a federal judge to face formal charges and have been provided a court date to plead their case.

From WOAI Channel 4

Most of the truck drivers arrested were from the U.S. Those arrested also include smuggling guides, brokers, recruiters and organizational heads.