Trucking Company Shut Down Over Fatal Trafficking Incident
It was a ghastly story when it first broke this past summer – a truck driver was caught transporting human beings in the trailer of his vehicle, leading to several fatalities.
When Clearwater-native James Bradley Jr. stopped at a Walmart in San Antonio, few people could have anticipated the horrific site that would soon be discovered. The trailer had a whopping 39 people in it. What’s worse, the temperatures in the container climbed to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the course of the trip. This left the occupants facing severe health issues.
With eight deaths at the scene and two more following after the occupants were hospitalized, investigators dug deep to find out all they could about this highly concerning case. It was one of the most horrific tales of human trafficking in U.S. history, drawing similarities to the 2003 case where Tyrone M. Williams transported passengers in his truck, resulting in 19 deaths.
James Bradley Jr.’s case became more interesting when investigators suggested he may have transported over 100 people in the truck at one point. 20 of the 39 people he had been transporting during this ill-fated trip wound up critical condition.
While Bradley maintained he was surprised by the discovery himself, those nearby said the people poured out of the container toward what was described as a fleet of waiting SUVs. One immigrant in the truck spoke of the dire situation, claiming those inside the container took turns gasping for air through a hole in the side as there was no ventilation or water.
Bradley also has a criminal record dating back two decades, with charges in various states for assault, escape, traffic offenses, menacing, and more.
The driver’s company, Pyle Transportation, has its own history of problems. They were cited to owe taxes three years ago, and faced a felony fraud charge in 2000. Now it has been announced that the feds have shut down the trucking company effective immediately.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration placed an “out-of-service order” on the troubled company following an unsatisfactory safety review. Like their driver, the carrier has denied any knowledge of the trafficking incident.
If convicted of charges on conspiracy and transportation-resulting-in-death, Bradley could face life in prison.