Officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety arrested an 18-wheeler driver this week after he was allegedly caught smuggling 18 illegal immigrants into the United States.
Osvaldo Garza Saavedra, the tractor trailer driver, was stopped for a traffic violation on U.S. 77 in Kenedy County, Texas.
An investigation conducted by a Texas DPS trooper revealed that Garza Saavedra did not have a driver’s license or the necessary documentation to operate a commercial vehicle.
When asked if there was anyone inside the truck or trailer, Texas DPS officials said Garza Saavedra said no.
Garza Saavedra gave the trooper consent to search the truck, officials said, and the trooper noticed a blue tarp covering the trailer.
When the trooper looked underneath the tarp, there were 18 illegal immigrants inside – nine adult men, eight adult women, and one juvenile.
Garza Saavedra was arrested and charged with human smuggling as well as minor smuggling. He was taken to the Kleberg County jail, and the 18 undocumented immigrants were turned over to the US Border Patrol.
“We are committed to enforcing safety standards, and one of our department’s primary functions is to ensure Texas roadways are safe for all Texans and visitors to our great state,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Cartels do not care about the condition of the vehicles they send into Texas any more than they do about the human lives they cram into tractor-trailers or those lost to a fentanyl overdose.
“For security reasons the department does not discuss operational specifics, but we hope that frequent enhanced commercial vehicle safety inspections will help deter cartel smuggling activity along our southern border while increasing the safety of our roadways,” he added.