More than three dozen people were recovered from a big rig on Thursday that was stopped near San Antonio, according to federal prosecutors in Texas.
Aron Bernard Griffin, 49, is facing a federal human smuggling charge after 41 undocumented non-citizens were found and detained by federal agents, prosecutors of the Western District of Texas announced.
According to authorities, multiple people called 911 to report individuals in the back of a tractor trailer that Griffin was driving. The truck was on Interstate 10 East in San Antonio.
A San Antonio Park Police officer initiated a traffic stop. As the officer approached the car, several people ran out, according to AP.
San Antonio Police Lt. Jesse Salame told reporters on Thursday that a San Antonio Park Police officer initiated a traffic stop, according to The Associated Press. As the officer approached the truck, several people ran out the back.
At the time, authorities said they made contact with 29 people that fled the truck, according to AP.
According to a local CBS affiliate, both men and women were apprehended.
About 80 to 100 people fled the truck in total, according to KSAT.
A spokesperson for the San Antonio Fire Department told the affiliate that one dehydrated individual was taken to a hospital out of precaution.
Griffin admitted that he made an arrangement with another person to pick them up in Laredo and transport them to San Antonio for financial gain, prosecutors said.
He is charged by criminal complaint with one count of smuggling undocumented immigrants, prosecutors said. He faces up to ten years in prison if convicted.
The San Antonio Police Department previously told The Hill that Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division was taking over the investigation.
Updated 5:27 p.m.