Federal Grand Jury Returns Superseding Indictment in Case Against James Matthew Bradley, Jr. – Government Will Not Seek Death Penalty
Superseding indictment includes new defendant and additional charges
In San Antonio this afternoon, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment adding another defendant and additional charges in the case against 60–year-old James Matthew Bradley, Jr., for an alleged smuggling operation that resulted in the deaths of ten undocumented aliens in July announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden.
United States Attorney Durbin also announced a filing this afternoon serving notice to the Court that the Government will not seek the death penalty against Bradley.
The seven-count superseding indictment charges Bradley and 47–year-old Pedro Silva Segura, an undocumented alien residing in Laredo, TX, with one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented aliens for financial gain resulting in death; one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented aliens for financial gain resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy; and, two counts of transporting undocumented aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy. The superseding indictment also charges Bradley alone with the following (3) counts: transportation of undocumented aliens resulting in death; transporting undocumented aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy; and, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
As for Bradley, he faces up to life imprisonment upon conviction for the conspiracy and transportation-resulting-in-death charges. As for Silva, the maximum penalty upon conviction of the conspiracy and transportation-resulting-in-death charges is life imprisonment, or the death penalty. Upon conviction of the conspiracy and transportation-resulting-in-serious-bodily-injury charges, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison. Upon conviction of the felon-in-possession charge, Bradley faces up to ten years in federal prison.
According to court documents, San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) officers responded to a call at the Wal-Mart store located at 8538 Interstate 35 in San Antonio shortly after midnight on Sunday, July 23. An officer encountered a tractor-trailer behind the store, finding a number of people standing and lying in the rear of the trailer, and the driver, Bradley, in the cab. At the scene, law enforcement officers discovered 39 undocumented aliens. According to court records, the undocumented aliens estimated the trailer contained between 70 and 180 to 200 people during transport. They also described differing fees for being transported. Authorities also recovered a .38 caliber pistol from inside the cab of the tractor-trailer. Bradley, who was arrested at the scene, has remained in federal custody.
The superseding indictment alleges that Silva participated in the conspiracy by transporting undocumented aliens and attempting to conceal, harbor and shield them from detection.
Bradley remains in federal custody. Silva, who was arrested in Laredo on an unrelated charge, is in custody and awaiting transfer to San Antonio for his yet-to-be scheduled initial appearance in federal court.
The U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is leading this investigation together with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), the San Antonio Police Department and the San Antonio Fire Department, with assistance from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the U. S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol. Assistant United States Attorneys Christina Playton and Matthew Lathrop, along with Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hoyle from the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.