Human Trafficking Leads to National Investigation: 9 People Dead, 30 Injured

An 18-wheeler semi-trailer was found in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, Texas. First responders referred to what they saw as a “horrific scene.” After assessing the scene, police are calling it a “human trafficking crime.” Everyone in the trailer was suffering from heat related illnesses. The trailer consisted of adults ages 20-30 and 2 children, the youngest being 15 years old. Homeland Security has become involved to “discover the origin of this tragedy.” The assumed driver of the vehicle has been taken into custody. The semi-trailer had no air conditioning, leading to those inside to suffer the uncomfortably dangerous temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The semi-trailer was discovered after one of the individuals inside came out to ask for water from a Walmart employee. Concerned about the encounter, the employee notified police about the mysterious semi-trailer.

After police and medical officials arrived, they began taking people out of the trailer. Some individuals fled the trailer and police are still searching for them. Medical attention was so eargent that some needed to be transported by helicopter. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also been asked to assist in the investigation to discover the origin of the human smuggling network that the semi-trailer is a part of.

Police are attempting to discover the identity of the driver. James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, from Clearwater, Florida, has been taken under federal custody and may be charged as the driver. However, the Associated Press reports that the U.S Attorney’s office of Richard Durbin Jr., who is heading the prosecution of this case, will not confirm that Bradley was the driver.

Some are claiming that this case is the reason stronger boarder control regulations are necessary. However, this occurrence was after an increase in border security. Experts are stating that human smuggling businesses like these are the result of increased border security. The harder the border becomes to cross, the more people need smuggling businesses to help them cross. As Guadeloupe Correa-Cabrera, a border security expert, told the New York Times, “events like this are an unintended consequence of enhanced border enforcement and security measures. Further enhancing border security puts migrants under greater risk and strengthens transnational human smuggling networks.”

Mayor Ron Nirenberg commented that this event “shines a bright light on the plight of immigrants looking for a better life and victims of human trafficking.” Nirenberg went on to say, “this is a humanitarian crisis born from desperation in countries whose social and political turmoil and economic challenges lead people to risk their lives in search of a better life.”

This is an ongoing story. Follow Mod3rn Media Magazine for updates and other news.

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