Mexican drug cartel linked to San Antonio smuggling deaths

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - A 60-year-old Florida man could face the death penalty, or life behind bars, in connection to the deadly human smuggling operation discovered in San Antonio.

According to investigators, James Matthew Bradley, Jr. said he didn't even know there were people crowded in the back of the non-ventilated tractor trailer until he pulled over and opened the doors finding bodies lying on the floor like meat.

Bradley never called 9-1-1.

According to the criminal complaint document, the harrowing journey from Nuevo Laredo to San Antonio that left 10 dead and several severely injured didn't include food or water.  Just a single hole in the trailer wall provided the only available air.  One survivor said those who hadn't passed out took turns breathing from that one small opening and tried to get the driver's attention by hitting the trailer walls.

Homeland Security is also looking into whether or not the the Zetas drug cartel was involved.  Los Zetas is one of the most dangerous cartels in Mexico and although cocaine and meth are the biggest money makers, the Zetas are also into extortion, kidnapping, human trafficking and money laundering.

"It's very sad,"  said Reyna Torres Mendivil. "You can imagine the teams here at the Mexican Consulate we are all very touched by what's going on."

The Consul General of Mexico in San Antonio is protecting survivors' loved ones so they can be close to their hospitalized relatives without fearing the immigration process.  She also said the Mexican government trusts if Bradley is convicted, he'll be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

"We are confident in the legal system, in the american legal system."