MCALLEN, Texas – The Border Patrol is warning future truck drivers about the risks they will soon have to be aware of once they receive their commercial license.
“We need to stand up and we need to fight this,” Border Patrol agent Omar Cavazos said.
Cavazos showed a handful of student truck drivers the “Operation Big Rig” presentation that included KSAT’s report this past May.
The report included graphic bodycam footage by a San Antonio police officer, capturing what he saw inside the semitrailer in a Walmart parking lot in July 2017.
It was released just weeks after James Matthew Bradley Jr., 61, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in July 2017’s human-smuggling operation that resulted in the deaths of 10 people.
“You're not used to seeing that much, it's death, (but) that's what it is,” Cavazos told the students. “We would hate for anything like what you saw in these videos to happen.”
Operation Big Rig’s PowerPoint presentation was also created to teach future truck drivers to be vigilant and do more than just check whether their rig is road worthy.
On Tuesday, Border Patrol officials said agents rescued 30 undocumented immigrants at two separate Laredo checkpoints found inside a tractor-trailer.
#Laredo Sector #BorderPatrol agents at the Interstate 35 checkpoint discover 10 illegal aliens hidden in sleeper compartment of tractor trailer. Driver arrested. Read more here: https://t.co/NmjmPuxXTi pic.twitter.com/CgoWW5z6Nd— CBP South Texas (@CBPSouthTexas) July 18, 2018
#Laredo Sector #BorderPatrol agents apprehend 20 illegal aliens at checkpoint at FM 1017 near Hebbronville, Texas. Driver arrested. Read more: https://t.co/XFQ6LgHjXF #HonorFirst pic.twitter.com/8jV4KhrRoo— CBP South Texas (@CBPSouthTexas) July 18, 2018
Border Patrol said when rigs are unlocked, unwanted passengers are known to climb in at truck stops or hide behind windjammers.
“No human life, no human death is worth any money that they’re going to offer you,” said Justin Houpt, a student truck driver. “It’s bad. People do it but money is the root of all evil and money is the cause of all that.”
Leticia Quintanilla, a student truck driver, said she has no business getting into any sort of situation in which someone offers her money to break the law.
Quintanilla has two reasons for not doing so: "To save the lives (of the immigrants) and I don’t want to be in trouble with the law."