CBP: Truck driver promised $2,500 per person smuggled past border checkpoint
HARLINGTON, Texas (KGBT) — Border Patrol agents found 19 undocumented immigrants inside a tractor-trailer early Friday morning at the Falfurrias checkpoint in Texas, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The truck driver, Jesus Migel Robledo, faces charges of trafficking and harboring aliens, according to court records.
During an interview with agents, Robledo said "he knew the individuals were in the trailer and that he was going to be paid $2,500 per individual. " The criminal complaint states that "Robledo further advised that he was going to call 'El Juanito' upon arrival into San Antonio for further instructions."
Three undocumented immigrants told agents they had been in the trailer since Thursday night. The temperature inside the tractor-trailer was recorded at 46.7 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of the discovery of the 19 undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, according to the news release.
Court records do not list an attorney for Robledo.
The discovery comes weeks after the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor launched Operation Big Rig, an initiative with federal, state and local agencies to bring awareness and prevent human smuggling in commercial vehicles.
The Falfurrias checkpoint is located approximately 70 miles north of the Rio Grande River. It remains one of the heaviest border areas for alien and narcotic traffic, according to CBP.