Update on Texas Trucker Involved in Human Trafficking
It was recently reported that James Bradley Jr. was facing federal charges after an apparent immigrant-smuggling operation turned fatal. Overall, the driver is accused of smuggling at least 100 illegals in his tractor trailer. While trafficking is a massive issue in truck driving as it is and carries its own severe penalties, the situation was made even more dire by the unfortunate fate of those hidden away in the trailer.
Ten of the immigrants passed away from the unbearable conditions in the trailer, with soaring temperatures in the container topping out at over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the ghastly nature of the case and the loss of life, the driver may receive the death penalty if found guilty.
However, Bradley maintains he was surprised to discover the individuals in his trailer. He recalls opening the doors of his trailer in a Walmart parking lot at San Antonio, where he says he was knocked down by a group of Spanish people as they hurried out.
When the police found Bradley and the truck, they reported that the bodies of eight people were found inside. At least 30 more were in the surrounding areas, some showing symptoms of severe dehydration and heat strokes. Another interesting fact about the situation has police questioning the trucker’s plea of innocence.
A number of SUVs were in the parking lot, described by officer accounts as “a small fleet.” Officers believe these vehicles may have been waiting to transport the immigrants after they left the trailer, though none of them likely anticipated the dangerous and life-threatening situation they’d find themselves in on the way.
After two more people passed away from lingering injuries in addition to the eight found in the truck, the death toll was raised to 10. 29 people are still hospitalized according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting director.
One survivor said more immigrants had fled the scene and were taken off by SUVs before the police arrived at the scene. One of the immigrants who had been in the truck recalled the desperate scene. With no water and a lack of proper ventilation, those in the trailers took turns gasping for air through a hole in the side of the trailer.