SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies have discovered 11 possible victims of human trafficking or a slavery ring.

A deputy on patrol Monday in Northeast Bexar County spotted the group of men and women standing near an 18-wheeler near Rittiman Road and Goldfield. Several scattered when they saw the deputy and some of them hid.

Investigators say those in the group were undocumented immigrants from Mexico who had gone without food or water for more than two days.

“It’s a tragedy that these folks come here looking for a better life and, quite frankly, they’re preyed upon and taken advantage of —and they’re forced into modern day slavery,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.

BCSO says the truck driver is a U.S. citizen who appears to be a registered sex offender from another state. He was briefly detained, questioned and released after being “cleared of wrongdoing for now.”

Some of the deputies used their own money to buy food and water for the group. They also provided shoes for a young woman who was barefoot on the hot pavement.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the deputy’s actions helped save the lives of several of these persons,” said Salazar.

The group was turned over to Homeland Security for further investigation.

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