Home Local News AUTHORITIES SAY IOWA TRUCK CONNECTED TO TEXAS DEATHS (UPDATE)

AUTHORITIES SAY IOWA TRUCK CONNECTED TO TEXAS DEATHS (UPDATE)

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REUTERS/Ray Whitehouse

Update 3:45pm 7/24/17

Federal prosecutors say the man charged with driving a tractor-trailer registered in Iowa that was packed with nearly 100 immigrants will remain in detention.

60-year-old James Mathew Bradley Jr., of Clearwater, Florida, was charged with transporting immigrants here illegally, resulting in the deaths of 10 people.

Judge Elizabeth Chestney explained to Bradley that he could face the death penalty if convicted.

The truck containing the victims is registered to Pyle Transportation of Schaller, Iowa.

Pyle Transportation has not released a statement regarding the truck and is not responding to phone calls.

A federal complaint says Bradley told authorities he was driving the trailer to Brownsville, Texas, and was unaware that it was packed with people until he stopped at a Walmart in San Antonio.

Bradley told investigators that the trailer had been sold and he was transporting it from Iowa to Brownsville, Texas.

He allegedly said that he opened the door after hearing banging and shaking and was “surprised when he was run over by ‘Spanish’ people and knocked to the ground.”

The complaint says Bradley did not call 911, even though he realized that at least one person was dead.

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Federal prosecutors say a man arrested following the deaths of ten people in a hot tractor-trailer outside a Texas Wal-Mart will be charged today (Monday).

Prosecutors say 60-year-old James Mathew Bradley Jr., of Clearwater, Florida, was taken into custody over the weekend after the bodies were discovered alongside nearly 20 more people in dire condition in the San Antonio parking lot.

The truck containing the victims is registered to Pyle Transportation of Schaller, Iowa and has Iowa license plates.

Pyle Transportation has not released a statement regarding the truck and is not responding to phone calls.

Authorities fear the death toll from the weekend discovery could rise because many of those hospitalized were suffering from extreme dehydration and heatstroke.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus calls the deaths a “human-trafficking crime.”

Photo by Reuters/Ray Whitehouse