Stash house operator pleads guilty in deadly smuggling run

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The operator of an immigrant stash house in Laredo, Texas, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the case of a deadly smuggling run last July that left 10 immigrants dead or dying in a semitrailer in San Antonio.

Pedro Silva Segura faces up to life in prison and will be sentenced June 29. He entered his plea Thursday before a federal magistrate in San Antonio.

The truck’s driver, James Matthew Bradley Jr., has pleaded guilty to single counts of conspiracy and transporting immigrants resulting in death. He will be sentenced March 26 and also faces up to life in prison.

At least 39 immigrants, most of them from Mexico, had been packed inside the sweltering semitrailer. Police found the trailer, which had a broken cooling system, last July in a Walmart parking lot. Investigators say passengers had experienced difficulty breathing as temperatures, which had topped 100 degrees in San Antonio, climbed.

Eight people were found dead inside the trailer, and another two died after being hospitalized.

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