FALFURRIAS, Texas — A man from Galveston has entered a guilty plea after trying to smuggle migrants into the United States using a flag-draped coffin.
In October 2021, Zachary Blood, 33, drove a grey van modified to carry caskets through the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint.
Authorities saw a coffin in the back of the van and asked what he was transporting.
“Dead guy, Navy guy,” Blood told agents.
However, the coffin was in poor condition and the American flag was taped to the top with packing tape.
Blood was taken to the secondary inspection station where authorities found two people from Mexico concealed in the coffin. Both were in the country illegally, authorities said.
The two migrants admitted to authorities that they paid a smuggler to get them to San Antonio.
They claimed that after crossing the river into the United States, they were taken to a parking lot where Blood was waiting for them. He had them get into the coffin and began driving north.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will impose sentencing May 11. At that time, Blood faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
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