A teacher has been arrested and charged with human smuggling in Texas after he was caught picking up four migrants in Kinney County and driving them to Houston.
Teacher Charged with Human Smuggling in Texas
Brandan Gracia was charged with four counts of human smuggling in Texas. Gracia teaches science to students in grades 7 through 12 and was found with an ID from Patrick Henry Middle School.
Sheriff Coe of Kinney County Sheriff’s Office speaks Gracia was stopped for a traffic offense near the Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas, but officers two men and two women in his car. According to border patrol, these people were in the U.S. illegally and allegedly tried to hide in the backseat laying down trying to conceal themselves when the deputy stopped the car.
Officials Warn of Growing Human Smuggling in Texas
According to Kinney County officials, human smuggling in Texas has become more and more common, with most of the drivers picking up migrants coming from Houston.
While some drivers may not understand the role they could be playing in facilitating the trafficker’s crimes, others are lured with money and set up by traffickers to distract law enforcement while they move narcotics. Traffickers can take advantage of female migrants, forcing them into prostitution or other illicit trades.
As incidents of human smuggling in Texas become more common, officials are warning drivers to be cautious and consider the potential consequences of their actions. Those who are considering becoming a driver for migrants are being urged to think twice, as they may be unknowingly aiding traffickers and putting themselves in harm’s way.