CORPUS CHRISTI (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Mexican trucker must serve 2½ years in a U.S. prison for trying to smuggle 53 immigrants in a refrigerated trailer through a South Texas border checkpoint.

Luis Valero-Carrizales was sentenced Thursday in Corpus Christi. The 39-year-old Valero-Carrizales in April pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants.

human smuggling 923599600 Prison For Mexican Trucker Who Smuggled Immigrants

A U.S. Border Patrol agent searches for undocumented immigrants in McAllen, Texas. (credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

Prosecutors say Valero-Carrizales was in the U.S. on a visitor visa when he was arrested in December as the immigrants were found behind a load of produce in the truck at the Falfurrias checkpoint. The temperature inside the refrigerated trailer was 54 degrees.

The immigrants were detained. Authorities didn’t report anyone injured.

Valero-Carrizales is expected to be deported after his release from federal prison.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)