Driver in Deadly Human Smuggling Case Pleads Guilty in San Antonio
James M. Bradley Jr., 61, of Clearwater Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court in San Antonio to one count of transporting immigrants resulting in death and another count of conspiracy.
Police officers came upon the truck in the parking lot of a San Antonio Walmart and discovered the gruesome scene of the migrants’ bodies, an episode that highlighted the cruel business of human smuggling and the desperate efforts by migrants to reach the United States.
Bradley. will face up to life in prison when he is sentenced on January 23.
“Today’s admission of guilt by Mr. Bradley helps to close the door on one of the conspirators responsible for causing the tragic loss of life and wreaking havoc on those who survived this horrific incident,” Shane M. Folden, the special agent with the San Anontio office of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, said in a statement.
It was not clear what led Mr. Bradley, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges last month, to change his plea. A spokesman for the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas said that a plea agreement with Mr. Bradley was under seal. His guilty plea did not apply to three other charges he faces, and the spokesman said that those charges could be dismissed at the sentencing hearing in January.
Mr. Bradley’s lawyer, as well as the federal prosecutor in the case, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday night.
Mr. Bradley faced charges in the case along with another man, Pedro Silva Segura, 47, who the authorities said was in the country illegally and living in Laredo. Mr. Silva is expected to be transferred to San Antonio to face numerous charges, including a count of conspiracy to transport and harbor immigrants for financial gain resulting in death.
In related news…………….
FMCSA CLOSES PYLE TRANSPORTATION
Federal safety regulators have shut down the Iowa trucking company that owned the semitrailer involved in a human trafficking case in which 10 immigrants died in Texas.
Pyle Transportation was placed under an “out-of-service order” Monday by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after a review found the company’s safety rating was so unsatisfactory that it was unfit to remain in business, agency spokesman Duane DeBruyne confirmed to Mexico Trucker Online.
Pyle Transportation owner Brian Pyle has denied knowledge of the alleged smuggling conspiracy. He has said that he sold the trailer and hired Bradley, who had worked previously for the firm, as a contractor to drive it to Brownsville, Texas, to deliver it to the buyer.
While the company has not been directly implicated in the case, it drew unwanted attention to Pyle’s history of safety violations and failure to pay taxes and wages owed to some drivers. Several former employees said they were pressured to drive too many hours without rest, to falsify their logs to conceal those violations and to transport overweight loads on unrealistic deadlines.
Federal regulators launched a compliance review into Pyle, which had been operating with a “conditional” safety rating due to prior violations, after the human trafficking case.
Information released this week shows the company was cited for knowingly allowing an employee to drive with a disqualified commercial driver’s license and permitting a driver to make a false report regarding his duty status. It’s unclear whether those violations were tied to Bradley, whose commercial driving privileges had been disqualified by Florida for failing to file updated medical information.
DeBruyne, the FMCSA spokesman, said he couldn’t comment on specific findings. He said the out-of-service order went into effect after a 60-day notice period, and the company has appeal rights through the agency.
This post is part of the thread: San Antonio Migrant Deaths – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.
35 years in the trucking business and living in Mexico for the past 15 years, make me uniquely qualified to offer my insight and opinion into the Mexican trucking industry and other border issues. A contributor to SiriuxXM Road Dog Channel 106 and to the award winning Lockridge Report, Mexico Trucker Online continues to publish the unvarnished truth about the subjects we cover.