'Immigrant Death Truck' Driver Indicted, Could Face Death Penalty

A federal grand jury has indicted James Matthew Bradley, Jr, 60, on charges that potentially carry the death penalty, in connection with the incident last month where 39 illegal immigrants were discovered in a sweltering trailer in the parking lot of a south side Walmart, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Bradley, who was driving the tractor trailer from Laredo to San Antonio with what federal investigators say was as many as 200 immigrants packed inside, is charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented aliens for financial gain resulting in death, conspiracy, transporting undocumented aliens for financial gain resulting serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Federal prosecutors have not yet said whether they intend to seek the death penalty.

"Of the 39 undocumented aliens discovered, ten are deceased, two remain hospitalized, 22 remain in federal custody charges as material witnesses, and five individuals (four juveniles and one adult) have been released from the hospital and turned over to Immigration authorities.  The four juveniles are currently under the supervision of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and the adult in pending administrative processing through the U.S. Immigration Court," federal prosecutors said in the statement.

All of the immigrants are represented by San Antonio attorney and former federal prosecutor Michael McCrum.

Federal authorities also released the names, ages, and nationalities of the ten people who died.  They range in age from 18 to 37, and are from Mexico and Guatemala.

Bradley has not entered a plea.  A hearing in his case is set for next week, when some of the victims of his immigrant smuggling attempt are expected to testify by video.

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