Man pleads guilty to trying to smuggle Mexicans nationals into San Antonio in a flag-draped coffin

click to enlarge Border Patrol agents noticed Zachary Taylor Blood's story about transporting a dead "Navy guy" didn't add up, according to Justice Department officials. - U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Border Patrol agents noticed Zachary Taylor Blood's story about transporting a dead "Navy guy" didn't add up, according to Justice Department officials.
A Galveston man who tried to sneak two Mexican nationals across the border in a flag-draped coffin headed for San Antonio has pleaded guilty to one count of human smuggling, Justice Department officials said.

When pulled over, Zachary Taylor Blood, 33, told Border Patrol agents near the South Texas town of Encino that a coffin in his van held the remains of a "dead guy, Navy guy," according to details from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas. Agents noticed the coffin was in lousy condition and the American flag was "taped to the top with packing tape."

While smuggling cases aren't a rarity in South Texas, the lawyer representing Blood, Simon Purnell, told the New York Times this was the first time he's heard of smuggling via coffin.

Blood's sentencing is scheduled for May in Corpus Christi. He faces a $250,000 fine and up to 5 years in federal prison.

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