Driver arrested in human smuggling operation, Kerr County deputies say

16 immigrants, including 4 children were found inside a pickup truck, Kerr County deputies say

Misael Jesus Santiago Hernandez, 22, was arrested on 16 counts of human smuggling, Kerr County deputies say. (KSAT/Kerr County Sheriff's Office)

KERRVILLE, Texas – A driver and 16 undocumented immigrants are in custody after another motorist observed multiple people in the bed of a pickup truck in Kerrville.

According to a news release, Kerr County deputies and Texas Highway Patrol stopped the truck along Interstate 10 eastbound near mile marker 505 on Friday afternoon.

Deputies observed multiple people in the bed of the truck trying to hide underneath blankets, cardboard, and other items.

Deputies removed everyone from the vehicle, including two people who were inside a metal toolbox.

The driver, along with 12 adults and four children were taken into custody, authorities said. After interviewing the people, deputies discovered that they had come across the Mexico border with the intent to move further into the U.S.

The 16 immigrants were taken to the U.S Border Patrol for processing, authorities said.

Kerr County Officials said the driver, 22-year-old Misael Jesus Santiago Hernandez, who is not a U.S. citizen, was arrested on 16 counts of human smuggling.

Hernandez was booked into the Kerr County Jail on $440,000 in bonds.

Deputies said Hernandez admitted to crossing the border with the group and was given the truck to bring the group to San Antonio.

The Kerr County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is ongoing.

About the Author:

Emily Martin is the KSAT Insider Membership Producer. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.