A federal grand jury indicted a truck driver accused of smuggling illegal immigrants through Texas, including 10 who died last month, on charges that could bring the death penalty.
The five-count indictment of James Bradley Jr., late Wednesday includes two charges that could result in life imprisonment or a death sentence: one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal immigrants for financial gain resulting in death and one count of transportation of illegal immigrants resulting in death.
San Antonio police arrested the 60-year-old Bradley in July after discovering his tractor-trailer full of 39 illegal immigrants outside a Walmart store, according to the Justice Department. Police found 10 of the illegal immigrants dead, two were hospitalized, 22 were placed in federal custody, and five were released from the hospital to immigration authorities. Another four people were children and are under the supervision of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Bradley has denied that he knew people were in the trailer and told law enforcement officials that after he became aware of at least one dead person he called his wife instead of 911, according to the Justice Department. But court records said the illegal immigrants in the trailer estimated that as many as 200 people were transported in the trailer.