A Texas man was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly smuggling 84 illegal aliens across the U.S.-Mexico border in the cargo area of a dump truck, officials say.
Robert Flores Jr., of Poteet, Texas, was arrested and charged with 84 counts of human smuggling on Oct. 25 after being stopped for a commercial motor vehicle inspection on Interstate Highway 35 in La Salle County, Texas, Christopher Olivarez, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), said in a statement.
“During the stop, numerous individuals absconded from the truck’s cargo area into the brush,” Texas DPS said, adding troopers “discovered 84 illegal immigrants concealed inside the cargo area.”
UPDATE: 84 illegal immigrants from Guatemala & Mexico were recovered from the truck. @TxDPS arrested the driver, Robert Flores Jr., of Poteet, TX. He’s charged with 84 counts of human smuggling. Flores traveled through a ranch road bypassing a Border Patrol checkpoint in Webb Co. pic.twitter.com/jIOica0wvA
— Chris Olivarez (@LtChrisOlivarez) October 26, 2022
Olivarez said the illegal immigrants in the truck hailed from Mexico and Guatemala and have been turned over to U.S. Border Patrol (USBP).
Upon further investigation, authorities found that Flores traveled “through a private ranch road” with the intention of circumventing a USBP checkpoint in Webb County.
A video shared by the department shows dozens of illegal aliens, who appear to be all young males, around the dump truck as about 10 people stand handcuffed in line as law enforcement officers assess the scene.
The human smuggling bust is part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star,” a joint mission between the Texas DPS and Texas Military Department launched in March 2021.
Since the operation launched, law enforcement officials have apprehended more than 317,000 illegal aliens in the United States. They’ve also seized over 342 million lethal doses of fentanyl in the past year, according to the governor’s office.
Abbott, a Republican, said in a press release on Oct. 17 that the millions of lethal doses are enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States.
The giant seizure of drugs comes as Texas is battling with a chronic border crisis, which Abbott has largely blamed on the Biden administration’s lax immigration policies.
The Biden administration has been criticized by a number of officials in border states for immigration policies some say are allowing illegal aliens, and drugs, to flood the United States.