30 undocumented immigrants discovered in 18-wheeler at checkpoint

Posted: Monday, June 20, 2016 5:27 am | Updated: 3:35 pm, Mon Jun 20, 2016.
By César G. Rodriguez

A man from Corpus Christi expected a $30,000 payment for smuggling a group of illegal immigrants through the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate 35, court records allege.

Authorities, however, arrested the suspect, Abel Oliva-Almaral, on June 6 following an inspection and charged him with transporting immigrants who had entered the country illegally.

Agents said they conducted an immigration inspection on Oliva-Almaral, who was the driver of a white 2003 International semi-tractor.
A K-9 unit allegedly alerted to possible contraband concealed within the vehicle.

In total, agents discovered 30 people, who were citizens from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil and the Dominican Republic, states the criminal complaint filed June 9.

Oliva-Almaral agreed to speak to Homeland Security Investigations special agents following his arrest.

He stated he drove from his home in Corpus Christi to Laredo on June 4.

He stayed in his semi-tractor at ASB Carriers, where he worked around the yard until he was given the load June 6, records state.

A man called Oliva-Almaral and instructed him to pick up the immigrants along I-35, just north of Laredo.

“Oliva-Almaral stated he then walked to the back of the trailer, removed the seal and partially opened the door.

Oliva-Almaral stated he returned to the front of the tractor and waited for the (undocumented immigrants) to be loaded and the rear doors to be closed,” states the complaint.

He then returned to the back of the trailer to place a new seal, the affidavit alleges.

Oliva-Almaral stated he expected $1,000 per immigrant smuggled to San Antonio.