55 Illegal Immigrants Found Stuffed in Back of 18 Wheeler

Another mass immigrant smuggling attempt was broken up Tuesday night when 55 suspected illegal immigrants were found jammed into the back of an 18 wheeler parked on a quiet street just inside Loop 410 on the north side, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Fire Chief Charles Hood says unlike a similar smuggling case last summer where ten illegal immigrants died when they were packed into the back of an un air conditioned 18 wheeler found parked on the south side, this case ended with only minor injuries.

"This truck was air conditioned, thank God," Hood said.  "This truck had water so they were hydrated, they were cool, they were hungry."

He says children were included in the group but most were adults.  So far no word on where they were from.

Hood says five of the immigrants suffered minor injuries when they attempted to jump out of the back of the truck, which was parked in the 8400 block of Laurelcrest, which is just west of New Braunfels Ave near the Magic Time Machine.

"We are only reporting five patients who are going to be transported, and all of them are minor injuries," Hood said.  "They are injuries that were sustained when they either fell or were fleeing from the truck."

He says the inmates were provided with food and were turned over to immigration officials.

"They will be taken to a detention center, I have no information on that," Hood said.  "The five who we transported were taken to local hospitals."

It wasn't immediately known why the truck stopped in that quiet area, but it is common in immigrant smuggling cases for the human cargo to be shipped from a border crossing to San Antonio or another major city, and from there split up into groups to be taken to their ultimate destinations.

The trip is believed to have been coordinated by immigrant smugglers associated with Mexico's drug cartels.

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