3 people arrested for smuggling 12 people in big rig found in Bexar County, sheriff says

The 12 people are “safe and sound,” according to BCSO chief Javier Salazar

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – Three people were arrested Thursday after Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies and the U.S. Border Patrol tracked down an 18-wheeler with 12 people in the trailer.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar announced the details during a Friday afternoon news conference, which can be seen in the above video player.

According to Salazar, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an 18-wheeler heading towards San Antonio with “human cargo” inside.

The 18-wheeler was under surveillance as it was traveling along Interstate 10 near WW White Road on the Northeast Side, the sheriff said.

The 18-wheeler continued traveling until it was stopped by law enforcement around 10:45 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Currency and Profit drives.

At that point, deputies arrested three people in connection with the incident: 43-year-old Esteban Pichardo, 23-year-old Elias Garcia and 22-year-old Erika Saldana.

All three suspects have been charged with smuggling persons and engaging in organized criminal activity.

The 12 people found in the 18-wheeler consisted of 10 men and two unaccompanied minors. All were considered “safe and sound” when they were found, according to Salazar.

Salazar said it is not yet known if the trailer was stolen or if the 12 people were held against their will.

The case is considered an ongoing investigation.

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