Six immigrants were rescued from the back of a produce-filled tractor-trailer in Texas, as they were being smuggled in an operation similar to the tragic incident that left 53 migrants dead in San Antonio in June, officials said.
The transport vehicle was discovered Wednesday at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas about an hour north of McAllen, Texas, the agency said Thursday.
It was flagged for secondary inspection and searched after a Border Patrol K-9 alerted agents to something suspicious.
Inside, the agents found the half-dozen migrants hidden among a cornucopia of fruit — including one man crammed under a stack of various produce and other surrounded by boxes of raspberries, photos of the incident show.
All of the migrants appeared to be in good health, unlike the deadly smuggling attempt in San Antonio in June, in which 64 immigrants were trapped in the back of a tractor-trailer with no air condition and 53 died.
Authorities believe the temperature inside the trailer in the San Antonio incident was about 140 degrees — resulting in heat stroke and suffocation.
The driver in Wednesday’s smuggling bust is a US citizen and was taken into custody, according to the Border Patrol. The unidentified driver has a previous charge for the unlawful carrying of a weapon in prohibited places.