You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pedro Silva Segura Sentenced to Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Transport Undocumented Aliens Resulting in Death

In San Antonio today, Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra sentenced 47–year-old Pedro Silva Segura to 108 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in an undocumented alien smuggling operation that resulted in ten deaths last year, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden.

“Today’s lengthy sentence is a reminder that the penalties are very severe for anyone who participates in the dangerous business of illegally transporting human beings in tractor trailers. Time and again, we have seen this practice result in the loss of life of the most vulnerable among us.  We will be relentless in prosecuting this very serious crime,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.

“As this sentence makes clear, those who exploit people in this brutal and disgraceful way will face serious consequences themselves,” said Special Agent in Charge, Shane Folden, HSI San Antonio.  “Alien smugglers view their clients as nothing more than a commodity and they have no qualms about collecting their smuggling fees.”

On March 8, 2018, Silva pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport undocumented aliens resulting in death.  By pleading guilty, Silva admitted to operating a stash house in Laredo, TX, used as a holding area for undocumented aliens awaiting transportation to final destinations in the U.S.  Silva further admitted that approximately five undocumented aliens left the stash house on the night of July 22, 2017, and were delivered to a truck driven by James Matthew Bradley, Jr., that was bound for San Antonio.

According to court records, which Silva and Bradley admitted in court were factually correct, 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, 2017.  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.  Of the 39 aliens found at the scene ten (10) died, eight (8) died in the trailer and two (2) died later in area hospitals.  There were four juveniles, aged 14-17 years old, within the group of aliens in Bradley’s trailer who were unaccompanied by an adult.  Court records further state that the undocumented aliens estimated the trailer contained between 70 and 180 to 200 people during transport.  They also described differing fees for being transported. 

On October 16, 2017, Bradley pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with this investigation.  On April 20, 2018, Judge Ezra sentenced Bradley to life imprisonment. 

The U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated this case together with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), the San Antonio Police Department and the San Antonio Fire Department.  The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol assisted in this investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys Christina Playton and Matthew Lathrop prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Human Smuggling
Updated October 10, 2018