A tractor-trailer in which the police found at least 51 migrants dead on Monday was copied from a… South Texas based transportation company, according to a report.
Officials believe the truck was abandoned in San Antonio after experiencing mechanical problems. A city worker discovered the scene Monday night after hearing a cry from the trailer.
At least 46 migrants were found dead on the spot and more died in hospitals.
The 18-wheeler was a clone of a truck from an Alamo-based company with the same color and registration numbers, the owners of Betancourt Trucking and Harvesting told San Antonio Express-News.
“Our refrigerated trailer (refrigerated trailer) is in the middle of the yard… The one in San Antonio is not our trailer,” said Felipe Betancourt Sr. and Felipe Jr. to the local newspaper. “They have information about the truck that doesn’t belong to them.”
Border police officers have encountered a record number of migrants trying to cross the southern border, including 239,416 last month and 235,478 the month before.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott posted blame on the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
“These deaths are on Biden,” Abbott tweeted Monday night. “They are the result of his deadly open borders policy. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”
President Bidenmeanwhile, pledged to crack down on traffickers in the wake of the tragedy.
“Exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful, as is political grandeur around tragedy, and my administration will continue to do everything possible to prevent smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people trying to enter the United States between ports of entry,” Biden said in a statement.
It’s not the first time traffickers have tried to clone vehicles to get past law enforcement.
A Border Patrol cloned SUV driven by a trafficker in a fake uniform was found in Arizona last August with 10 migrants inside, said Border Patrol Tucson Sector chief John Modlin at the time.