BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Brownsville man was sentenced after pleading guilty to a smuggling incident involving “dangerous and life-threatening conditions.”
Carlos Alberto Avila, 39, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for transporting over 20 migrants in a trailer that was near-freezing in temperature, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
At the court hearing, evidence was provided showing that 26 individuals were locked in a trailer for three hours and instructed to lay on top of ice and frozen pallets of broccoli.
The release stated that the individuals were using a cell phone for light, and crawled to the door for warmth.
The temperature of the unit was set at 33 degrees and Avila was said to have “personally put a lock on the trailer, trapping the 26 individuals.”
On Oct. 26, 2021, Avila was driving the tractor trailer into a Border patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias when a K9 alerted agents. During a secondary inspection, agents discovered the 26 individuals in in the locked trailer.
The investigation was conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.