A second person pleaded guilty Thursday to arranging a transport of dozens of illegal immigrants last July that ended with ten of the immigrants dead or dying in a sweltering 18-Wheeler in a San Antonio parking lot, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Pedro Silva Segura, 47, faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty before Federal Magistrate Henry Bemporad in San Antonio to one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death, a federal felony.
According to court documents, Silva operated a ‘stash house’ in Laredo, on the Rio Grande, where undocumented immigrants were housed by smugglers while awaiting further transport to urban centers across the country.
Silva said little in the courtroom. The charges were read to him by a translator and he responded by saying 'Si' or 'No.'
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Shane Folden says on the evening of July 22, 2017, Segura delivered five illegal immigrants to a tractor trailer to be driven into the interior of Texas by Kentucky trucker James Bradley, 61.
Later in the evening, with the temperature lingering in the nineties, Bradley’s truck left for San Antonio, three hours away, with as many as 200 men, women, and children, including several unaccompanied minors, jammed into the un-air conditioned trailer.
Early the next morning, police were called to a Walmart parking lot on Interstate 35 in south San Antonio, where they found 39 people, including eight who were dead inside the truck, and twenty more who were rushed to area hospitals, where two more died.
The others had already been picked up by immigrant smugglers. Bradley was found in the cab of the truck and was arrested.
Bradley, who was originally facing charges that carried the possibility of the death penalty, pleaded guilty last year and is expected to be sentenced to life in prison when he is sentenced later this month.
Sentencing for Silva is set for June.