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Thread: 36 immigrants found concealed inside Texas dump truck, police say

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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    36 immigrants found concealed inside Texas dump truck, police say

    They were hidden under a mixture of sand, dirt, and gravel.

    Jan. 31, 2020, 5:30 PM PST
    By Kerry Sanders

    A disabled dump truck towed by Texas authorities to an impound yard was later found to contain 36 immigrants believed to be in the U.S. illegally, the Laredo Police Department said Friday.

    Police said the immigrants, who were unharmed, were hidden inside a compartment obscured by a layer of sand, dirt and gravel for a few hours before they were discovered Thursday. Police searched the truck after receiving an anonymous tip, they said.

    Police officials told NBC News the truck was in a remote impound lot, and the people might not have been discovered had it not been for the tip. They said the immigrants were not initially seen or heard.


    The Heavy duty vehicle is a dump truck that possessed plywood sheets affixed to the center of the container. This modification created two separate containers. The bottom container concealed the 36 illegal immigrants.Laredo PD

    The truck came to the attention of authorities Thursday morning after a flat tire forced it to stop on a Laredo road, police said. Authorities responded because it was a traffic hazard, officials told NBC News.

    Driver Ruben Plata, 62, told officers the situation was under control and that a supervisor and private tow truck were en route, but police checked his background and discovered he was wanted for a parole violation connected to a homicide case, Laredo police said.

    With the driver in handcuffs, police impounded the truck and received the tip a short time later, they said.

    When rescue crews and paramedics arrived at the lot, they knocked on the truck and heard a knock back, police told NBC News.


    The bottom container concealed 36 illegal immigrants and was resting on top of the plywood which was a mixture of sand, dirt, and gravel.Laredo PD

    It wasn't immediately clear when the immigrants allegedly crossed the border or where they are from.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...e-say-n1128026
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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Convicted murder suspect facing federal charges after alleged transport of 37 migrant

    Convicted murder suspect facing federal charges after alleged transport of 37 migrants

    By César Rodriguez, Laredo Morning Times Published 11:49 am CST, Monday, February 10, 2020


    A man wanted for parole violation in relation to a murder case was transporting more than 30 illegal immigrants, authorities said.

    A convicted murder suspect who allegedly transported 37 undocumented immigrants in a dirt hauler is now facing federal charges, according to an arrest affidavit filed on Monday.

    A criminal complaint charged Ruben Plata, 62, with transport, attempt to transport and conspire to transport immigrants who were in the country illegally. He had been in custody since his arrest for parole violation.

    The case unfolded at about 6:20 a.m. Jan. 30, when Laredo police responded to a stranded motorist report of a semi-tractor that had broken down near the Wright Ranch on Cuatro Vientos Road in south Laredo.

    LPD identified the truck driver as Plata.

    A record check on Plata revealed he had an outstanding arrest warrant for parole violation. Plata was convicted of capital murder in 1981 and given a life sentence. He was then approved for parole on Sept. 22, 2016, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

    Plata was then taken to the Webb County Jail. Meanwhile, the vehicle was towed to an impound lot in the 6100 block of Riverside Drive.

    At about 9:03 a.m., authorities received information that there were about 15 undocumented immigrants concealed inside a tractor-trailer located at the same impound lot, according to court documents.

    Authorities noticed that it was the same semi-truck police had impounded. An agent arrived at the scene and met with an LPD officer, who stated that voices could be heard coming from inside the trailer portion of the semi.

    “The trailer was identified as a dirt hauler that appeared to be full of dirt. The rear door of the dirt hauler appeared to be welded shut,” states the affidavit.

    A blow torch was used to gain access since voices could be heard from inside of the dirt hauler, and the rear door was welded shut, according to court documents.

    Agents said 37 people were freed from inside an aftermarket compartment that was built into the bed of the hauler. Further inspection revealed the people had crossed the border illegally.

    On Jan. 30, Homeland Security Investigations special agents and a Border Patrol agent from intelligence interviewed Plata, who had agreed to a post-arrest interview, according to court documents.

    “Plata claimed no knowledge of the subjects who were rescued from the dirt hauler. According to Plata, he met a male in Brownsville, Texas, who offered to pay him $300 to drive the dirt truck to Cotulla, Texas,” states the affidavit.

    Plata stated that two men transported him for about two hours in a four-door car prior to arriving where the semi-trailer was located. A male gave him directions on where to take the dirt. Plata alleged that he got lost and turned around. He then had to pull over due to a flat, according to court documents.

    But immigrants held as witnesses stated that Plata was the person who told them to get into the semi, states the affidavit.

    https://www.lmtonline.com/local/arti...s-15044678.php
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