AREA 3 (Kiii News) - The United States continues to be a land of opportunity, and it is a fact not lost on thousands of illegal immigrants who try to cross the border into Texas every year.
Those who make the journey often find out first-hand just how dangerous it can be.
For one illegal immigrant, that journey came to a harsh and difficult end on County Road 1538 in Jim Wells County, when a truck that authorities were pursuing flipped and landed on top of him this past winter.
Similar pursuits happen everyday in South Texas. Last month, another wild pursuit took place, this time in Duval County, about three miles off F.M. 1329. A truck drove onto a ranch property, going on a wild and dangerous ride before crashing into a tree deep in the heavy brush.
"Usually in the summertime it gets a lot busier," said Investigator Daniel Davila of the Brooks County Sheriff's Department. "Busier as far as trafficking, and as far as human remains that we find. The deaths."
The truck ended up in the brush. Whoever was inside of the truck was nowhere to be found.
"You can really look at this and pretty much tell that it's a fictitious tag," Davila said. "That's not the way it's supposed to be. It's not supposed to be a marker. The truck itself, if you look on the inside, the backseat is folded up. It's a common method to make more room for the undocumented aliens, so they can just throw them in there once they pull to the side of the road to load them up."
According to Captain Joe Martinez with the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department, smugglers known as coyotes stuff 10-20 people into a vehicle, with no regard for their comfort or safety.
"They'll take the backseats out of an SUV, and they're able to put more bodies into a vehicle to where they'll make their load more profitable," Martinez said. "And then there's the end result, somebody's stolen vehicle, ripped the seats out. They just throw them on the side of the road. It's not about comfort. It's about the maximum amount of bodies you can fit in there."
Martinez said, if there's a problem with an immigrant, like a medical one, they become dead weight to the coyote. They are simply discarded.
"We've had vehicles that have actually left bodies on the side of the road because they've passed away, so I mean, they have no remorse," Martinez said. "These alien smugglers, their one priority is to get their load across, and regardless of if they lose one or two people on the way."
Martinez described a gruesome discovery they had made, where a body of an illegal immigrant was left on the side of the road, his head almost on the pavement. It was later determined that the immigrant had died of natural causes. He was just dumped by a "coyote," who most likely considered they deceased young man a burden and basically left him in the middle of nowhere.
When this Special Report continues at 10 p.m. Friday, hear directly from an immigrant who came all the way from Guatemala, and ended up left behind in the brush of Brooks County.
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