Border Patrol agents arrested a trucker at the Falfurrias checkpoint on Friday after they found immigrants hiding in the trailer he was hauling.
Gerald Leon Graves arrived at the Falfurrias checkpoint at 5:20 a.m. Friday driving a green Volvo truck with a white refrigerated trailer.
Asked how he arrived at the checkpoint, Graves said he picked up produce in Laredo and dropped his girlfriend off at the Flying J truck stop in Edinburg before heading north, according to the federal criminal complaint against him.
“When initially questioned, Graves appeared to be calm and displayed normal behavior, but as Graves was being questioned about the load an trailer, graves became noticeably fidgety and wide-eyed,” according to the criminal complaint.
When agents searched the trailer, they found immigrants inside, according to the criminal complaint. Border Patrol determined the immigrants weren’t legally present in the United States.
Agents also found about $11,000 cash and a loaded handgun.
Border Patrol questioned the immigrants, who said they crossed the Rio Grande and spent time in stash houses before heading north.
A woman named Heydi Dariela Sanchez-Alvarenga said she crossed the border in June and spent more than two weeks at a ranch house.
“Sanchez stated that from this house she was taken to the tractor-trailer. Sanchez stated that while in the trailer she was scared because it was freezing and she couldn’t breath in the trailer,” according to the criminal complaint. “Sanchez stated that she did not want to get into the trailer.”
Graves is charged with bringing in and harboring aliens.
Court records don’t list an attorney for Graves, who remains in federal custody and couldn’t be reached for comment.