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Driver who left migrants to die in semi-truck in San Antonio 'very high on meth': police

The driver who trafficked an 18-wheeler full of migrants across the border before leaving them to die was allegedly "very high on meth" when police arrested him.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver BC
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The driver who smuggled migrants in an 18-wheeler across the border before leaving them to die was allegedly "very high on meth" when police arrested him.

The truck was discovered near San Antonio, Texas on Monday night, and since then the death toll has risen to at least fifty-three, with many more in hospital recovering from the ordeal.

According to the San Antonio Express News, the 45-year-old driver of the truck, Homero Zamorano, was arrested after fleeing the scene and taken into custody.

An officer told the outlet that Zamorano "was very high on meth" and "had to be taken to the hospital." He originally tried to fool law enforcement by disguising himself as a victim of the tragedy, but it was soon revealed that he had been driving the truck.

Zamorano is facing charges of human smuggling, and is expected to appear in federal court on Wednesday, according to Fox News.

"The driver and suspected human smuggler pretended to be an illegal migrant when authorities confronted him, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador revealed during a news briefing Wednesday," The Daily Mail reported.

"The driver tried to pass himself off as one of the survivors," Obrador said, adding "ICE reported that three people are already detained as allegedly responsible for human trafficking and homicide."

Two other men, Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez, were arrested after police traced the truck's information to their home. The pair allegedly "cloned" the truck before committing the act, a common practice for traffickers.

Police were first alerted to the truck around 6 pm on Monday after hearing a "cry for help." When officers approached the vehicle, they saw people stacked on top of one another in conditions unfit for animals.

Bodies were also found around blocks away from the truck, suggesting that some migrants tried to escape while it was in motion.

More details were released on Tuesday, including reports that the migrants, most of whom likely paid around $10,000 to be taken into the US, were covered in "meat seasoning" to mask the odor emanating from the truck.

With over fifty-three dead, it is the deadliest human trafficking incident in American history.

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