CORPUS CHRISTI (AP) — A South Texas trucker must serve more than 17 years in federal prison for the death of an immigrant being smuggled inside a toolbox in the rig.
Juan Enrique Escobedo-Moreno of Weslaco was sentenced Tuesday in Corpus Christi. The 45-year-old driver in January pleaded guilty to human smuggling.
Investigators say Escobedo-Moreno last October stopped for inspection at the Falfurrias checkpoint, said he was hauling watermelons to Houston and was alone.
Authorities discovered one smuggled immigrant alive in a closet behind the driver’s seat. Officers found a body in a toolbox under the sleeper berth.
Prosecutors say the toolbox was 30 inches long, 26 inches wide and 16 inches deep. The bed was secured by a latch not accessible from inside the toolbox.