13 unaccompanied kids among 76 rescued from tractor-trailer at Laredo checkpoint

American driver arrested

LAREDO – Border Patrol agents in Laredo discovered 76 people suspected of attempting to enter the country illegally in the back of a tractor trailer on Friday.

Among the 76 individuals found, 13 were unaccompanied children.

Authorities made the discovery at the Border Patrol checkpoint on North Highway 83. Agents questioned the driver regarding his immigration status and the driver was referred for further inspection.

During the secondary inspection, agents found the individuals, all in good health.

The 76 people hailed from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The driver, a U.S. citizen, was arrested and the tractor-trailer was seized by Border Patrol.

“These criminal organizations view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety," Laredo sector assistant chief patrol agent Gabriel Acosta said. "The blatant disregard for human life will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and prosecute those responsible.”

Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents, Laredo Division are investigating the case.