LAREDO – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), during Operation Lone Star, located 22 illegal immigrants concealed inside two plywood crates after a Highway Patrol Trooper conducted a traffic stop in Webb County.
On Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, just after 8 a.m., the Trooper conducted a traffic stop on a maroon Dodge pickup hauling a trailer with two plywood crates on Interstate 35 near Laredo.
During the inspection of the vehicle, the Trooper confirmed the pickup was reported stolen. A search of the wooden plywood crates resulted in the discovery of 22 immigrants concealed inside. The driver, Hector Godofredo Bernal Jr., 56, of Laredo, was arrested and charged with 22 felony counts of human smuggling and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
The immigrants included 17 adult males and five adult females from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. All were referred to the U.S. Border Patrol.
### (DPS South Texas Region)