Texas Department of Public Safety officers arrested the driver of an 18-wheeler this week after he was allegedly caught smuggling 18 illegal immigrants into the U.S.
The driver of the tractor trailer, Osvaldo Garza Saavedra, was stopped for a traffic violation on U.S. 77 in Kenedy County, Texas.
An investigation conducted by a Texas DPS trooper discovered Garza Saavedra did not have a driver’s license or the proper documentation to operate a commercial vehicle.
When asked whether there was anyone inside the truck or trailer, Texas DPS officials said, Garza Saavedra said no.
Garza Saavedra gave the trooper consent to search the truck, officials said, and the trooper noticed a blue tarp covering the trailer.
When the trooper looked underneath the tarp, there were 18 illegal immigrants inside – nine adult men, eight adult women, and one juvenile.
Garza Saavedra was arrested and charged with human smuggling and smuggling of minors. He was transported to the Kleberg County jail, and the 18 illegal immigrants were handed over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
“We are committed to enforcing compliance with safety standards and one of our department’s primary functions is to ensure Texas roadways are safe for all Texans and visitors to our great state,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said. “Cartels do not care about the condition of the vehicles they send into Texas any more than they do about the human lives they cram into tractor-trailers or those lost to a fentanyl overdose.
“For security reasons the department does not discuss operational specifics, but we hope that frequent enhanced commercial vehicle safety inspections will help deter cartel smuggling activity along our southern border while increasing the safety of our roadways,” he added.