Truck Driver In Human Trafficking Case Has KY Ties

Joey Palacios  Texas Public Radio
Joey Palacios Texas Public Radio

27 July, 2017

Bradley is charged with smuggling immigrants for financial gain resulting in death, and is being held without bail. Two of the Mexican nationals involved are minors and 14 Mexican citizens, while not in the hospital, remain in the custody and care of U.S. Marshals as witnesses.

Three survivors have been released from a San Antonio-hospital and 26 remain hospitalized.

Adan Lara Vega, 27, a migrant from Mexico who survived the smuggling attempt, told the AP on Monday that they boarded the truck on a Laredo street Saturday night for the two-hour trip to San Antonio.

In a press conference early Sunday morning, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus called the incident a "horrific tragedy" and said police were investigating a "human-trafficking crime". She said US immigration authorities had assured her any relatives escorted by consular officials to visit still-hospitalized passengers would not be questioned about their legal status.

Their appointed attorney, Michael McCrum, said it was too early to know whether they would receive visas or be allowed to settle in the United States in consideration for their help.

"One of my concerns is that they begin to be treated as chips in a political game instead of real people who have been severely abused", McCrum said. Bradley was arrested in connection with the deaths of multiple people packed into a broiling tractor-trailer.

He claimed he was unaware of the contents until he stopped in a Walmart parking lot to use the restroom. His parents, who live in Maryland and are in the US illegally, haven't yet told Guatemalan officials what they want done with his body.

An Aguascalientes state government official at the consulate told the AP that Aspeitia's family was driving north to San Antonio, hoping to cross the border on humanitarian grounds.

Authorities found eight people already dead and another 30-40 injured, many of whom had suffered heat stroke or other heat-related injuries, officials said.

Prosecutors have said that Bradley knew what he was doing and acted with reckless disregard for human life.

A report by states the driver of the truck, James Mathew Bradley, Jr., had his Florida-issued commercial driver's license revoked in April and that he has a criminal record dating back to the 1990s.

More news