Texas man sentenced to prison for smuggling 124 migrants in sealed tractor-trailer

A Texas man who attempted to smuggle 124 migrants held in a sealed tractor-trailer at a Texas border checkpoint was given a nearly five-year prison sentence this week. 

A federal judge sentenced David William McKeon to 57 months in prison after jurors convicted him of 20 counts of conspiracy. The verdict came after a two-day trial and two hours of deliberation. 

“These smugglers are driven by human greed and heartlessness,” Craig Larrabee, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio, said in a statement. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, such as Border Patrol, to maintain the integrity of our border and nation’s immigration law.”

PELOSI ATTACK SUSPECT DAVID DEPAPE THE LATEST HIGH-PROFILE CRIME INVOLVING AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

A Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 35 in Texas. Agents at the Laredo North Border Patrol arrested a Texas man in April who was sentenced to nearly five years in prison this week for attempting to transport 124 migrants.
(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Prosecutors said McKeon endangered the 124 people inside the tractor-trailer when he arrived at the Laredo North Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint on April 20. Authorities discovered the people inside after they heard noises coming from the vehicle. 

They opened the vent and found them behind the doors, prosecutors said. 

At his trial, McKeon, 67, said he was recruited for the job days earlier at his birthday party. He picked up the truck from a dirt road and was given a fraudulent billing of lading in the parking lot of a Popeye’s restaurant. 

From there, he drove to the checkpoint. Defense lawyers argued that McKeon wasn’t aware of the people inside the trailer, all of whom were noncitizens.

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After his release, McKeon will remain on supervised release for three years. 

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