03/08/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 18:27
In San Antonio, 47-year-old Pedro Silva Segura faces up to life in federal prison after pleading guilty this afternoon to his role in an undocumented alien smuggling operation that resulted in ten deaths last year, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden.
Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad, Silva pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport undocumented aliens resulting in death. By pleading guilty, Silva admitted to operating a stash house in Laredo, TX, used as a holding area for undocumented aliens awaiting transportation to final destinations in the U.S. Silva further admitted that approximately five undocumented aliens left the stash house on the night of July 22, 2017, and were delivered to a truck driven by 61-year-old James Matthew Bradley, Jr., that was bound for San Antonio.
According to court records, which Silva and Bradley admitted in court were factually correct, San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) officers responded to a call at the Wal-Mart store located at 8538 Interstate 35 in San Antonio shortly after midnight on Sunday, July 23, 2017. An officer encountered a tractor-trailer behind the store, finding a number of people standing and lying in the rear of the trailer, and the driver, Bradley, in the cab. At the scene, law enforcement officers discovered 39 undocumented aliens. Of the 39 aliens found at the scene ten (10) died, eight (8) died in the trailer and two (2) died later in area hospitals. There were four juveniles, aged 14-17 years old, within the group of aliens in Bradley's trailer who were unaccompanied by an adult. Court records further state that the undocumented aliens estimated the trailer contained between 70 and 180 to 200 people during transport. They also described differing fees for being transported.
On October 16, 2017, Bradley pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with this investigation. He remains in federal custody awaiting sentencing scheduled for March 26, 2018, before Senior United States District Judge David A. Ezra. Bradley, who faces up to life in federal prison, also agreed to forfeit to the Government his tractor-trailer rig, plus approximately $5,600 in U.S. currency and a .38 caliber pistol recovered from inside the cab. Silva also remains in federal custody pending sentencing scheduled for June 29, 2018.
The U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated this case together with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), the San Antonio Police Department and the San Antonio Fire Department. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Border Patrol assisted in this investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Christina Playton and Matthew Lathrop are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.