Truck Driver Arrested After 14 Migrants Discovered Locked in Trailer
- For Immediate Release -
On Thursday, May 25, 2023, at approximately 7:40 p.m., a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Task Force (CVETF) trooper initiated a stop on the driver of a tractor-trailer on northbound Interstate 19 near kilometer 42, in Sahuarita.
While conducting a routine commercial vehicle inspection, the trooper noted multiple indicators of criminal activity. A subsequent vehicle search revealed 14 people locked inside the unrefrigerated trailer with a single bottle of water. The occupants were removed from the trailer and received medical attention before being turned over to United States Border Patrol personnel.
Temperatures in enclosed trailers can be up to 30 degrees hotter than the outdoor temperature. The high in Sahuarita on May 25th was approximately 95 degrees, putting the trailer’s occupants at serious risk of heat-related illness.
While searching the cab of the vehicle, the trooper also discovered approximately 14.25 pounds of fentanyl powder and 12.55 pounds of cocaine.
The truck driver, 30-year-old Eduardo A. Hernandez, from Nogales, AZ, was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz* County Jail. He faces charges including possession and transportation of a narcotic drug for sale, possession and transportation of a dangerous drug for sale, and 14 counts of endangerment.
The CVETF is comprised of AZDPS Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau troopers and Arizona Department of Transportation Enforcement and Compliance Division officers. The mission of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Task Force is to ensure safe, secure, and efficient commercial transport across Arizona.
*Correction: A previous version of this news release indicated the suspect was booked into Pima County Jail, however, the suspect was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.