Truck Driver Indicted on 5 Charges For Immigrant Deaths

James Bradley enters San Antonio's federal courthouse in July. - Video screenshot, via ABC 13
Video screenshot, via ABC 13
James Bradley enters San Antonio's federal courthouse in July.

A federal grand jury indicted James Bradley, Jr. on five criminal charges Wednesday for his role transporting dozens of undocumented immigrants in an unventilated, crowded semi truck in July. The incident left ten passengers dead.

The indictment included charges of "conspiracy to transport aliens" for financial gain resulting in death and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. If convicted, Bradley could face life in prison — or the death penalty.

For now, 22 of the surviving passengers of Bradley's trip are being held in federal detention as potential witnesses in Bradley's case. The feds fear they'll leave the country if they don't keep them behind bars.

Bradley initially told authorities he had no idea that there were immigrants packed into the back of his truck, and that he only heard their desperate banging from inside the trailer when he pulled over to use the restroom at a San Antonio Walmart.

Passengers, however, told the police they were greeted by SUVs at the Walmart parking lot, which quickly whisked away as many immigrants they cram inside. It appeared planned. Walmart surveillance videos back up this testimony.

Bradley will remain in federal custody until his trial date, which has yet to be set.


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