Two survivors of the tragic July smuggling incident
in southwest San Antonio, in which 10 undocumented immigrants were found dead in a cargo trailer, have been deported after being turned over to immigration authorities when they were no longer needed to testify as witnesses to the crime.
According to a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, "Two tractor-trailer survivors were removed to their country of origin."
The two survivors were driven to the Mexico border near Del Rio, Texas to be deported within hours of being in the custody of immigration authorities. A third survivor who had testified in grand jury proceedings against the truck driver was released, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Twenty-two survivors were held in a federal immigrant detention center in downtown San Antonio for over a month to ensure that they would testify
against James Bradley Jr., the driver of the truck who was indicted on five criminal charges related to the incident. On September 5, a judge signed off on a motion by the U.S. Attorney’s office to dismiss the witnesses from the case.
Mike McCrum, the attorney representing the witnesses, told the Current
he suspected the witnesses were no longer needed because a deal may have been reached with Bradley. Daryl Fields, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, did not indicate a plea deal had been reached with Bradley, whose trial date has yet to be scheduled. If convicted, Bradley could face the death penalty.