Truck driver claims he was forced to smuggle migrants at gunpoint

A truck driver says he was forced to smuggle migrants across the border at gunpoint, according to an arrest affidavit.

The truck in question arrived at the US Border Patrol checkpoint along Interstate 35 in Laredo, Texas at 11:29 a.m. on January 12.

According to LMT online, a K9 unit alerted to the possible presence of contraband during a routine inspection of the truck and officers ordered the driver, Montague Fitzgerald Barnes, to stay for a secondary inspection. Officers say Barnes ignored their instructions and instead drove through the X-ray machine and hit a Border Patrol unit.

Despite the rapid passage, the X-ray machine automatically scanned the platform and detected three anomalies in the cabin berth area and officers were able to find three migrants hiding in the berth.

When questioned, Barnes told officers he was at a local store in Laredo when he encountered a woman. He claims the woman lured him outside where two men were waiting with guns.

“Barnes said they got into a vehicle and the two unknowns with a gun to their heads ordered him to push three subjects through the checkpoint,” the affidavit reads.

Barnes has since been arrested and charged with transportation, attempted transportation and conspiracy to transport the migrants.


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