Smuggling people: Cody Denise Hartman faces federal charges over migrant truck that broke down in Jackson County, Texas
At about 7 a.m. Friday, a traffic police officer spotted a tractor that stopped on the side of road near Highway 59 and District Road 202 in Ganada. When he asked the driver, later identified as Cody Denise Hartman, if she needed help, she reportedly said she ran out of diesel.
The video above is from a previous report.
The officer continued to question Hartman, who said she was hauling energy drinks, according to court documents. By then, a police officer said he heard several people knocking on walls and doors asking for help.
When he opened the back of the truck, officials say about 60 to 100 migrants had dispersed, some heading to a nearby private ranch.
The Jackson County Sheriff said he managed to talk to one of the migrants, who said they had been driving all night and eventually broke into Ganada.
The migrants were not given food or water in the back of the truck, and the air conditioner did not work properly, which caused extreme heat in the truck.
According to authorities, 65 people were taken into custody, not including Hartmann. Several people were taken to hospital for treatment of dehydration.
In the end, Hartman reportedly told authorities she was offered $ 800 for a five-hour trip “somewhere” to Houston. Investigators reportedly received messages from Hartman to an unidentified number in which another person was told they needed to check people in the back of the truck to make sure they were still breathing.
Hartman was arrested for human trafficking and charged. 65 people found in the truck were arrested for illegally entering the United States. They were all taken to Jackson County Jail for further investigation.
The situation near Ganada is reminiscent of a similar circumstance that occurred not so long ago this month 19 years ago, but with a historically fatal outcome.
In May 2003, 19 of the 70 undocumented immigrants trapped in a truck trailer near Victoria, Texas, died of dehydration, overheating and suffocation as a result of what is considered the deadliest smuggling incident in U.S. history.
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