The defendant charged with an illegal alien smuggling operation that resulted in 10 deaths plead guilty to those charges this week.
James Matthew Bradley Jr., 61, appeared in federal court and plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in death and one count of transporting aliens resulting in death.
Bradley admitted that on July 23, 2017, he conspired to transport and transported illegal aliens for money. The crime resulted in the death of 10 illegal aliens.
Bradley is facing up to life in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 22.
Bradley has agreed to forfeit his tractor-trailer rig, about $5,600 in U.S. currency and a .38-caliber pistol recovered from inside the cab of the tractor-trailer.
According to court records, San Antonio police officers responded to a call at the Wal-Mart store located at 8538 Interstate 35 in San Antonio shortly after midnight on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
An officer encountered a tractor-trailer behind the store, finding a number of people standing and lying in the rear of the trailer, and the driver, Bradley, in the cab.
At the scene, law enforcement officers discovered 39 illegal aliens. Of the 39 aliens found at the scene 10 died; eight died in the trailer and two died later in area hospitals.
There were four juveniles, aged 14 to 17 years old, within the group of aliens in Bradley’s trailer who were unaccompanied by an adult. Court records further state that the illegal aliens estimated the trailer contained between 70 and 180 to 200 people during transport.
Court records further state that the illegal immigrants estimated the trailer contained between 70 and 180 to 200 people during transport.
They also described differing fees for being transported.
“Today’s admission of guilt by Mr. Bradley helps to close the door on one of the conspirators responsible for causing the tragic loss of life and wreaking havoc on those who survived this horrific incident,” said Shane M. Folden, special agent in charge of HSI San Antonio. “This case is a glaring reminder that alien smugglers are driven by greed and have little regard for the health and well-being of their human cargo, which can prove to be a deadly combination. HSI is committed to aggressively targeting human smugglers and smuggling organizations who continually victimize people for profit.”
Bradley’s co-defendant, 47-year-old Pedro Silva Segura, an illegal alien residing in Laredo, Texas, faces similar criminal charges.
Silva, who was arrested in Laredo on an alien smuggling charge, is in federal custody awaiting transfer to San Antonio.