Wrecker driver discovers 16 illegal immigrants in box truck along Beltway 8

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 7:57 AM

Illegal immigrants stopped

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HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- Officials said a wrecker driver who stopped to assist with a broken down box truck along Beltway 8 made a surprising discovery that led to an overnight manhunt.

A spokesman for the Harris County Pct. 5 Constable’s Office said it was around 8:30 p.m. when a county toll road wrecker driver saw the stopped truck on Beltway 8 near Westpark Drive. He stopped to assist and found 16 people crammed into the back of the truck.

The box truck's driver and a passenger in the front took off running. Someone in the back of the truck tried to run away as well, constables said.

The Houston Police Department assisted county officials in tracking down the one person who ran from the back of the truck, but the driver and passenger were never located.

Constables said out of the 16 people in the back, 15 of them were men. Pct. 5 officials said the suspected illegal immigrants had been in the back of the truck for 18 hours. Officers pooled together some of their money and bought food and water for the immigrants, as many were suffering from dehydration.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were called in to take the group into custody.

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