ALPINE, Texas – More than 60 migrants were found in a box truck stopped on a highway in the remote Big Bend region of West Texas, federal officials said Wednesday.
Driver Javier Duarte, 22, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was arrested on counts of transporting migrants illegally and helping convicted felons re-enter the country illegally, according to a statement issued by the West Texas U.S. attorney.
Border Patrol agents discovered 67 migrants in the box truck during an inspection at a Texas 118 checkpoint 12 miles south of Alpine, or about 200 miles southeast of El Paso, on Tuesday. Four migrants were children aged 8 to 13, and three others had aggravated felony convictions for rape, drug possession and crimes involving moral turpitude, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
It was unclear Wednesday if Duarte had an attorney. If convicted on both counts, he could be sentenced to up to 10 years in federal prison.