SAN ANTONIO – When authorities discovered 8 bodies and 31 injured people in an 18-wheeler trailer in the parking lot of a southwest side Walmart early Sunday morning, San Antonio Police Department chief William McManus said it appeared to be a "human trafficking crime."
A criminal complaint filed in a San Antonio federal court on Monday, however, says 60-year-old James Matthew Bradley, Jr. is facing smuggling charges, not trafficking charges.
The two carry significant legal distinctions, and are not interchangeable according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The ICE website highlights the differences between the two:
Human trafficking centers on exploitation and is generally defined as:
Recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.
Human smuggling centers on transportation and is generally defined as:
Importation of people into the United States involving deliberate evasion of immigration laws. This offense includes bringing illegal aliens into the country, as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of aliens already in the United States
GET THE WHOLE STORY
- 10th victim dies in human smuggling case; suspect to appear in court
- Authorities identify suspect in smuggling case that killed 10
- ICE: 100+ people packed into sweltering big rig trailer, only 39 found
- Mexican Consulate to help ID victims in human smuggling case
- 'Tragedy came to our doorstep': Officials speak out on fatal human smuggling crime
- Smuggling victims found in sweltering trailer suffered 'unbearable' heat
- RAICES slams SAPD over human smuggling case, SAPD fires back
- Field behind Walmart could be path for undocumented immigrants, neighbor says
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