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The driver of the suffocating tractor trailer where at least 51 immigrants were found dead in Texas was allegedly “high on methamphetamine” when he was caught, authorities said.
Homero Zamorano, 45, was detained in a nearby field after he allegedly abandoned the 18-wheeler with dozens of migrants hiding in the back in a desolate area of San Antonio on Monday.
“He was heavily high on methamphetamine when he was arrested nearby and had to be taken to the hospital,” a law enforcement officer told the San Antonio Express News.
Following the grim discovery of the bodies inside the truck Monday night, investigators were able to trace the vehicle’s registration to a San Antonio address that they placed under surveillance, authorities said.
Arrested and Charged
They later arrested two other men, Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez and Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao, as they both left the residence.
D’Luna-Bilbao and D’Luna-Mendez were charged with possession of firearms while illegally residing in the US, according to criminal complaints.
It was not immediately clear what involvement the two men allegedly had in the smuggling tragedy or if they will face additional charges.
The driver is also expected to be charged, but he remained in the hospital as of Tuesday night, a Mexican official said.
The death toll had risen to at least 51, including 39 men and 12 women, by Tuesday, authorities said.
Local authorities said they were alerted to the tragedy after a city worker heard a cry for help from the back of the truck.
Police arrived to find the rear door of the trailer open with “piles of bodies” inside, while others slumped nearby.
Temperatures in San Antonio reached a high of 103 degrees on Monday.