Smugglers brought in a load of illegals and after a request for water, police checked the back of the truck and found that ten of the illegals, including two children hhave died from extreme heat and possibly suffocation. The police say they found the truck parked in a Walmart parking lot.
The driver of a tractor-trailer that was found in a Walmart parking lot with eight dead immigrants and 30 others in bad shape is in federal custody, officials said Sunday.
James M. Bradley Jr., 60, is believed to be from Florida. He was booked into a federal jail in San Antonio on human trafficking charges for his alleged role in what U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin called “an alien smuggling venture gone horribly wrong.”
“We’re working on a complaint right now,” Durbin said. “He’s in custody and he will be charged.”
The truck was parked at a back corner of the Walmart parking lot at 8538 S. Interstate 35 and Texas 16 on the Southwest Side at least since Saturday night. The ten immigrants are believed to have died as a result of heat exposure/asphyxiation, according to a San Antonio Police Department news release, but an official cause of death will be determined by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Officials said it was a refrigerated trailer but the air conditioning wasn’t working. Experts estimate the temperature inside the closed-in trailer could have reached dangerous levels; at just 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a closed vehicle can reach 115 degrees in a half hour, according to the National Weather Service. San Antonio reached Saturday’s high of 100 degree at 6 p.m.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said police were alerted by a Walmart employee who was approached by someone in the truck who asked the employee for water.
This story has been edited after two more of the illegals died.
In addition to the deceased, officials said, about 30 others found inside were taken to area hospitals for treatment.