Texas agents uncover 50 illegal immigrants hidden in junkyard big rig, 5 accused human smugglers arrested

Texas DPS criminal investigators make discovery in Conex truck tractor semi-trailer near US-Mexico border

Texas special agents discovered about 50 illegal immigrants hidden in a junkyard conex container and apprehended five suspected human smugglers accused of orchestrating the tractor trailer operation.  

At approximately 8:00 p.m. Monday, special agents from the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division (CID) located a truck tractor semi-trailer suspected of concealing several illegal immigrants at a junkyard on State Highway 359 in Webb County. 

As CID special agents approached the trailer, several illegal immigrants absconded, and five adult males were apprehended, according to spokesman Christopher Olivarez. A search of the property resulted in the discovery of approximately 50 additional illegal immigrants hidden inside a conex container. 

Upon further investigation, the semi-trailer was reported stolen out of the Laredo Police Department. CID special agents are further investigating this case. The illegal immigrants, 35 males, 10 females, and eight juveniles from Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador were referred to the U.S. Border Patrol. 

TEXAS TRACTOR TRAILER DRIVER SMILES FOR BORDER PATROL CHECKPOINT CAMERAS HOURS BEFORE MIGRANTS FOUND DEAD 

CID special agents are criminal investigators with Texas DPS, separate from Border Patrol.

Texas CID Special Agents said a search of a Webb County junkyard led to the discovery of approximately 50 illegal immigrants hidden inside a conex container. 

Texas CID Special Agents said a search of a Webb County junkyard led to the discovery of approximately 50 illegal immigrants hidden inside a conex container.  (Texas DPS)

In what was considered the deadliest human trafficking incident in modern history, 53 migrants died after being abandoned in tractor trailer outside of San Antonio in late June’s scorching temperatures. 

Security cameras captured one of the accused human smugglers in that incident smiling behind the wheel of the big rig at a Border Patrol checkpoint as he entered the U.S. from Mexico hours before the gruesome discovery. 

Texas special agents apprehended five adult males who exited a tractor trailer full of an additional 50 illegal immigrants at a junkyard in Webb County. 

Texas special agents apprehended five adult males who exited a tractor trailer full of an additional 50 illegal immigrants at a junkyard in Webb County.  (Texas DPS)

Despite federal indictments in that case, the disturbing human smuggling practice has continued. 

Last month, Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies located 84 migrants as they unloaded from a tractor trailer just 12 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas. 

In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on June 27, 2022, in San Antonio. Homeland Security Investigations said 48 migrants were declared deceased at the scene, while several others later died at hospitals, raising the death toll to at least 53 people who perished.

In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on June 27, 2022, in San Antonio. Homeland Security Investigations said 48 migrants were declared deceased at the scene, while several others later died at hospitals, raising the death toll to at least 53 people who perished. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Authorities pointed to a TikTok video that sought "someone who can drive an 18-wheeler right now" from McAllen, Texas to Houston for $70,000. At the time, Olivarez told Fox News Digital that law enforcement has seen an uptick in recruitment videos on social media sites since last year.