Truck Driver Makes First Appearance in Human Smuggling Case

By KTSA News Staff

The man accused of driving an overheated semi trailer which killed at least ten people in a human trafficking scheme made his first appearance before a Federal judge Monday.

60-year-old James Bradley from Florida will be back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

With the death penalty on the table, U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Chestney assigned two lawyers to Bradley. He was led in to the courtroom in shackles, wearing a blue jumpsuit and tinted yellow glasses.

Bradley said he understood the charges against him after they were read.

Meanwhile, a 10th death has been confirmed in the human smuggling tragedy that unfolded in San Antonio Sunday.

Twenty nine others remain hospitalized after they were found inside of a hot semi trailer at a Southside Walmart early Sunday.

“I believe there were a whole heck of a lot more (people inside of the trailer),” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told KTSA’s Trey Ware.

“We have video surveillance of vehicles pulling up and taking off with people,” McManus added.

“This tragedy could have been a whole lot worse,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg told Ware, adding “The outpouring of compassion … which should be the first response for anyone in this situation was good to see.”

Some have criticized SAPD for calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the aftermath of the discovery, which does not sit well with McManus at all.

“It’s just grandstanding on their part … I resent it,” the Chief said.

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