Jury finds driver guilty of smuggling seven in tractor cab
Published 9:59 am Tuesday, August 9, 2022
LAREDO, Texas – A federal jury in Laredo has convicted a 39-year-old man from Petal, Mississippi, for smuggling seven undocumented aliens in the sleeper cab of his tractor-trailer, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for approximately 15 minutes before convicting Daniel McLaurin following a one-day trial.
On April 22, McLaurin drove his tractor-trailer into a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint on IH-35 north of Laredo. At inspection, law enforcement asked McLaurin if there were any passengers in his vehicle. At that time, he stated that he had one passenger and that they were both U.S. citizens.
Shortly thereafter, authorities asked McLaurin if he would consent to drive his tractor-trailer through an X-ray scanner, and he agreed. It revealed images in the sleeper cab that appeared to be human bodies. They conducted a search and discovered seven undocumented individuals inside of the tractor cab.
Later, they were determined to be unlawfully present in the country.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo presided over trial and will impose sentencing at a later date. At that time, McLaurin faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000.00 maximum fine.
He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gerard A. Cantu and Brandon Bowling prosecuted the case.