2nd suspect pleads guilty after immigrant smuggling deaths


The second of two defendants pleaded guilty Thursday to “conspiracy to transport undocumented aliens resulting in death” after 10 of those immigrants died in a sweltering tractor trailer last summer while making the journey into the United States.

Pedro Silva Segura, 47, faces up to life in prison for his role in this crime, U.S. Department of Justice officials said.

By pleading guilty, Silva admitted to operating a house in Laredo that served as a holding area for unauthorized immigrants awaiting transportation to final destinations in the United States, federal officials said.

Immigrants left the house on the night of July 22, 2017, in a San Antonio-bound truck that 61-year-old James Matthew Bradley Jr. was driving, federal officials said.

San Antonio police found them at a Walmart just after midnight, officials said.

An officer found a tractor-trailer behind the store and a number of people standing and lying in the back of the vehicle, officials said. Bradley was in the cab of the vehicle. 

Police discovered 39 unauthorized immigrants — four of them unaccompanied teenagers ages 14 to 17 — but those in the trailer estimated there had been up to 200 people inside during the transport at one point, federal officials said.

Of those 39, eight died in the trailer and two others later died after being hospitalized, officials said. 

Some of the immigrants told investigators that they had paid thousands of dollars to enter the country this way.

The immigrants described differing fees for being transported, federal officials said. 

Bradley pleaded guilty last fall to one count of conspiracy to transport immigrants resulting in death and one count of transporting immigrants resulting in death. He is also facing up to life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month. 

Silva’s sentencing is scheduled for June 29. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Police say maker of 3D-printed gun had sex with teen, may be in Taiwan
Police say maker of 3D-printed gun had sex with teen, may be in Taiwan

Cody Wilson, an Austin man whose fight over 3D-printed guns brought him into the national spotlight, is accused of having sex with an underage girl last month at a North Austin hotel and might be on the lam in Taiwan, authorities said Wednesday. Austin police Cmdr. Troy Officer, who heads the department’s Organized Crime Division, said Wilson&rsquo...
The road ahead for scooters? City weighs safety concerns, new rules
The road ahead for scooters? City weighs safety concerns, new rules

People zipping down sidewalks and tourists wobbling in and out of traffic on rental stand-up scooters has led to grumbling about safety concerns since the dockless devices first appeared in Austin this year. Still, it’s too soon to know whether the scooters are a transportation savior or hazard, staff members told City Council members Tuesday...
Alligator eludes authorities in southern New Jersey
Alligator eludes authorities in southern New Jersey

There’s an alligator on the loose in southern New Jersey, and police have come up empty trying to find the elusive reptile, NJ.com reported.  >> Read more trending news  Police in Mullica Township said the alligator, which measures between 3 and 4 feet in length, was first spotted Tuesday. Officers and members of the ...
Willie Nelson doesn’t care if you’re mad about his Beto O’Rourke support
Willie Nelson doesn’t care if you’re mad about his Beto O’Rourke support

Mad that Willie Nelson is playing at a rally for U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke? You’re entitled to your opinion, the Austin icon and country music legend says. Nelson will headline a concert for the El Paso Democrat, who is running to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, on Sept. 29 at Auditorium Shores. That hasn't settled well with some conservative...
3 young cancer patients sworn in as police officers for day 
3 young cancer patients sworn in as police officers for day 

Three young cancer patients from New York were sworn in as police officers for a day in a surprise ceremony Wednesday, Newsday reported. >> Read more trending news  Jesse Pallas, 11, Sean Hughes, 10, and Zachary Cote, 9, have been undergoing cancer treatments. They met at an event for families dealing with childhood cancer and became...
More Stories