A Texas trucker was found guilty by a federal jury of attempting to smuggle 124 migrants through a U.S. border in a tractor-trailer. checkpoint for the Border Patrol. The driver used ignorance of the migrants’ presence in the car as an excuse.
A Laredo federal jury recently found 67-year-old David William McKeon guilty on one count of conspiring to transport unauthorized migrants after a two-day trial. Later this year, the U.S. is anticipated to sentence him. Marina Garcia Marmolejo, the district judge, may spend up to 10 years behind bars.
On April 20 McKeon was detained by Border Patrol officers at a checkpoint on I-35 north of Laredo. Based on data made public by the U.S. McKeon sought to persuade the jury that he was not aware that the migrants were in the trailer through the Attorney’s Office. The jury reached a verdict after two hours of deliberation.
According to a criminal complaint submitted by federal prosecutors, McKeon met a guy in the early hours of April 19 at a Popeyes Chicken parking lot in Laredo who promised him several thousand dollars to deliver a consignment from Laredo to San Antonio. He took McKeon to the tractor on Highway 359 the next day and instructed him to meet him at a nearby dirt road to pick up the sealed trailer and a fake bill of shipment.
After their first encounter, McKeon left and headed north toward San Antonio, stopping at a Border Patrol checkpoint along the way. McKeon gave the fake manifest, which indicated his destination was Austin, Texas, and informed the agents he was a citizen of the United States during their initial examination.
Agents heard unknown noises when physically inspecting the seal of the trailer and told the driver to go to a secondary examination. Agents from the Border Patrol cracked the seal and found 124 migrants.