James Bradley, the Kentucky trucker who was at the wheel when ten dead or dying illegal immigrants were discovered in his trailer in the parking lot of a south side Walmart last summer, will learn his fate today, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports
.Bradley, 61, had been facing the death penalty, but his exposure was reduced to a maximum life without parole after he pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in death and one count of transporting aliens resulting in death.
Bradley gave prosecutors several lies about how as many as 200 illegal immigrants came to be locked in his un-air conditioned trailer for a trip from Lareo to San Antonio on a sweltering July day, including claiming that he 'didn't know' the people were in his truck.
By the time police arrived at the parking lot where Bradley had been instructed to take the individuals, all but 37 of them had run off and had been picked up by other members of the smuggling gang.
Of those 37, Eight were dead and 30 had to be hospitalized, mainly for heat related issues. Two of those died later in hospitals. The surviving immigrants were held as material witnesses, but after Bradley pled guilty they were released and processed for deportation.
The case has not stopped human smuggling cartels from using this method of getting people over the border illegaly.
Just two weeks ago, 35 immigrants were found at a Border Patrol checkpoint north of Laredo, packed into the back of an 18 wheeler.
Border Patrol agent Gabriel Acosta says tighter border security has meant an end to the individual immigrant splashing across the Rio Grande in search of a better life.
"Everything that crosses this border today, from drugs to humans, includes money paid to the cartels," he said.