86 undocumented immigrants found inside tractor-trailer in Willacy County
Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
Federal and state officials are urging the public to report suspicious activity after 86 undocumented immigrants were found inside a tractor-trailer in Willacy County Tuesday night.
The undocumented immigrants, ranging in age from 3 to 59, were found concealed among rotten produce inside a tractor-trailer set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, said Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Jose Rodriguez during a press conference Wednesday.
Watch the press conference below:
At about 8:45 p.m., a DPS trooper conducted a traffic stop on the trailer on northbound State Highway 77 near Raymondville after receiving a tip regarding suspicious activity.
After receiving consent to search the vehicle, the trooper found the 86 individuals, four of which were unaccompanied children. The undocumented immigrants were determined to be from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Two individuals were transported to a local hospital for dehydration.
The incident comes after federal authorities have reported an increase in human smuggling cases throughout the state.
Between the Laredo sector and the Rio Grande Valley sector, there have been 100 different incidents involving tractor-trailer loads in the past seven months, according to U.S. Border Patrol Acting Chief Carla L. Provost.
From those incidents, CBP reports 1,400 rescues have been made.
With temperatures expected to rise this season, Border Patrol officials encouraged the public to report suspicious activity to prevent human smuggling operations that may result in death.
“The risk is out there. The heat is here. This is our worst time of year when it comes to rescues and, unfortunately, deaths in the southwest border due to the temperatures,” Provost said.
The driver and passenger of the tractor-trailer were arrested and remain in custody. Their identities have not been released.
The case has been turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
To report suspicious activity, visit www.iwatchtx.org, or call 1-800-863-9382.