Zachary Taylor Blood, 33, will be sentenced in the middle of this year after admitting to the smuggling of two Mexican citizens they were hidden in what Border Patrol agents observed as a shabby flag-draped coffin.
U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery’s office revealed that Blood pleaded guilty to a federal alien smuggling charge in connection with an Oct. 26, 2021 stop at a Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias, Texas.
According to the federal prosecutor’s office, Blood, 33, was behind the wheel of a gray van that was modified to transport coffins.. Agents who observed a casket in the truck asked Blood what he was carrying, to which he replied, “Dead man, Navy man.”
According to ABC television, prosecutors said agents directed him to a second checkpoint not only because of the poor condition of the casket, but also because of the appearance of an American flag taped to the top with packing tape. .
It was at the secondary checkpoint where smuggled Mexican citizens were found in the coffin, both allegedly in the United States illegally.
Both men admitted to paying a smuggler to take them to San Antonio, according to prosecutors.
The Department of Justice detailed in a statement that the migrants crossed the Rio Grande (Río Bravo in Mexico) and were then taken to a parking lot where Taylor Blood was waiting for them. He ushered them into the coffin and began driving north.
Federal District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will impose the sentence on May 11. Taylor Blood faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible maximum fine of $250,000..
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