Another migrant tragedy averted after 3 Honduran men found crammed into tool box in Texas
The driver, a US citizen, confessed to carrying 'a personal amount of marijuana' and a handgun
EL PASO, TEXAS: Three migrants were found crammed into two tool boxes on the back of a pick-up truck as they crossed the US border into Texas. The Honduran men were discovered by Border Patrol agents at the Ysleta Station checkpoint in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday, June 30. The discovery was made after the black Chevrolet Silverado transporting them was pulled over for a routine check, El Paso Sector US Border Patrol said.
A K-9 found the men during the routine border check. Border agents took photos that show the three migrants crammed into the tool boxes, dressed in t-shirts and jeans. The driver, a US citizen, confessed to carrying “a personal amount of marijuana” and a handgun. He said he did not have the keys to unlock the tool boxes. Border agents later managed to open the boxes and rescue the men, and the unidentified driver is now in custody. He has been charged with conspiracy to transport.
“Endangering human lives by using dangerous & despicable smuggling tactics is the modus operandi of transnational criminal organizations,” said El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez in a press release, according to New York Post. “I am extremely proud of the actions of our El Paso Sector Border Patrol Agents as they often encounter high risk situations, where if not for their dedication and intervention, events as these would turn into tragedies.”
LOCKED SMUGGLED MIGRANTS! A ruthless smuggler locked 3 migrants in metal toolboxes while transporting them in extreme summer heat. Thankful that #Ysleta checkpoint agents were vigilant, detected it, & saved human lives. Phenomenal work Ysleta! #HonorFirst pic.twitter.com/XjLBAOOAQd— Gloria I. Chavez (@USBPChiefEPT) July 1, 2022
This incident comes after at least 46 migrants were found dead on Monday, June 27, inside a tractor-trailer on a Texas roadway. The bodies were found inside the 18-wheeler on Quintana Road in San Antonio. As many as 16 survivors were initially rushed to area hospitals in various conditions, but some of them later died. The death toll has now risen to over 51.
Authorities have identified at least 27 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans, and two Hondurans so far, according to Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Consul of Mexico Ruben Minutti-Zanatta. The nationalities of the other victims have not been identified yet. Among the dead were sisters Carla and Griselda Carac Tambriz — originally from the Colcajá canton, Nahualá, Sololá in Guatemala. The truck was carrying an estimated 100 people across the Mexican border into the US. The driver, Homero Zamorano, was later arrested.
First responders said that they approached the vehicle and found “stacks of bodies” that were allegedly sprinkled with steak seasoning to hide the odor of decaying dead bodies. The survivors were rescued from the 18-wheeler which reportedly did not have air conditioning or refrigeration. On Monday, temperatures in San Antonio reached a high of 103 degrees. According to first responders, the people were suffering from heat stroke.