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Texas grand jury indicts 2 males in migrant trailer case that left 53 folks useless


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Two Texas men were indicted on Wednesday in connection to the deadliest known case of alleged smugglers taking migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. The indictment comes as record numbers of migrants are crossing into the U.S. illegally.

Homero Zamorano Jr., 46, and Christian Martinez, 28, were indicted by a federal grand jury after an abandoned, airless tractor-trailer carrying at least 67 people was found in a remote part of San Antonio late last month with 53 dead or dying migrants inside. 

The men were indicted for transporting and conspiring to transport migrants illegally resulting in death and transporting and conspiring to transport migrants illegally resulting in serious injury.

The migrants were from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

ERNST SAYS HUMAN SMUGGLERS ‘TAUNTING’ LAW ENFORCEMENT BY ‘BRUTALLY’ RAPING YONG GIRLS AT BORDER, URGES ACTION

Police and other first responders work the scene where officials say dozens of people were found dead and others hospitalized with heat-related illnesses after a tractor-trailer containing illegal migrants was found on June 27, 2022, in San Antonio. 

Police and other first responders work the scene where officials say dozens of people were found dead and others hospitalized with heat-related illnesses after a tractor-trailer containing illegal migrants was found on June 27, 2022, in San Antonio. 
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

If convicted, the men could face life sentences and even the death penalty if the Attorney General’s Office authorizes prosecutors to seek it. 

MULTIPLE MIGRANTS KILLED IN TEXAS DURING HUMAN SMUGGLING ATTEMPTS AT SOUTHERN BORDER, ONE CAUGHT ON VIDEO

FILE - Photos of Jair Valencia, left, Misael Olivares, center, and Yovani Valencia are displayed on an altar at their home in San Marcos Atexquilapan, Veracruz state, Mexico, on July 13, 2022. 

FILE – Photos of Jair Valencia, left, Misael Olivares, center, and Yovani Valencia are displayed on an altar at their home in San Marcos Atexquilapan, Veracruz state, Mexico, on July 13, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Felix Marquez, File)

Police found Zamorano hiding in some brush near the trailer after it was found on June 27. A search of his phone allegedly showed texts between him and Martinez discussing the alleged smuggling operation. In addition, surveillance video of the tractor trailer’s driver going through the Border Patrol checkpoint matched Zamonrano’s description, the indictment said. 

Zamorano and Martinez remain in federal custody without bond as they await trial. 

Mourners visit a make-shift memorial to honor the victims and survivors of the June human smuggling tragedy on July 6, 2022, in San Antonio. 

Mourners visit a make-shift memorial to honor the victims and survivors of the June human smuggling tragedy on July 6, 2022, in San Antonio. 
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

A 20-year-old survivor from Guatemala told the Associated Press the suspects had covered the trailer with what she thought was powdered chicken bouillon to keep Border Patrol dogs from smelling the migrants. 

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Nearly 240,000 migrants were encountered at the border in May, which is one-third more than a year earlier.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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