On Monday, 60-year-old James Mathew Bradley Jr, who resides in Clearwater, Florida, was charged with one count of transporting undocumented immigrants. If he is found guilty, Bradley could face life in prison or even the death penalty.

The suspect was involved in an incident where police authorities discovered that the 18-wheeler truck he was driving was filled with dozens of suspected illegal immigrants. The trailer was overcrowded and eight people were found dead inside due to the extreme heat, while two others later died at the hospital.

Bradley denied any wrong doing and told police that he was only told by his boss to deliver the truck to its new owner.

The truck driver’s alibi

The suspect claimed that his boss had sold the truck and he was going to deliver it to its new owner in Brownsville, Texas. Bradley stated that he didn’t know what was inside the trailer until he stopped the 18-wheeler to take a bathroom break.

After exiting the truck, he heard noises coming from inside the trailer and when he opened the doors, Bradley was surprised when people started running out from inside. He also noticed the dead bodies that lay on the trailer’s floor.

Upon the discovery, Bradley immediately called his wife instead of calling 911, according to reports.

According to NBC News, the former owner of the truck, Brian Pyle, claimed that he had sold the truck in May. He stated, “I had nothing to do with anything that guy did.” He added, “I found out about it on the news like everyone else,” according to a report by NBC News.

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Who were the people inside the truck?

It was learned that some of the people inside were from Mexico and Guatemala. One of the undocumented immigrants, who came from Mexico, was interviewed by the Department of Homeland Security. The immigrant revealed that he was supposed to pay the smugglers a sum of $5,500 when the truck reached San Antonio.

According to NBC, the people inside the truck started having trouble breathing after just an hour of travel time, and people started fainting. The people started hitting the trailer as hard as they could to create enough noise to get the Driver’s attention. However, the driver never stopped.

Adan Lalraverga was among the people inside the truck and said that he heard children cry for water before he passed out.

Apparently, smugglers had jam-packed the trailer with more than three dozen people to maximize their profits in their illegal operation.

The suspect is scheduled to appear again in court on Thursday, July 27.