Houston truck driver charged with human smuggling in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A Houston truck driver has been charged with human smuggling after an officer found multiple Guatemalan immigrants loaded into a trailer in San Antonio.

Alan Herbert Nichols, 56, is accused of transporting the victims from a warehouse in Lerado, Texas.

Investigators said a local police officer was conducting a traffic stop Dec. 23 around 12:30 a.m. near the 3400 block of Copeland when a resident approached him claiming he had reported a suspicious activity to police 15 minutes, but no one responded. The complainant reported seeing a two women crying near an 18-wheeler, according to police.

The officer drove behind the complaints for a few blocks to a Splashtown Water Park, where they stopped across the street from the suspect's blue 2012 Kenworth truck. When the officer approached the truck he noticed the immigrants — who were sitting along both sides of the truck's inner walls — after being approached by with Nichols, a police report said. Inside the cab of the truck was a 57-year-old woman, who was not identified.

At first, the suspect allegedly claimed he didn't know about the people and that he grabbed the wrong trailer.

According to police documents, the officer started to question the people inside the trailer and asked if they need any medical assistance, which was refused. The group said they were picked up in the woods and were native to Guatemala, investigators said.

Reinforcements were called to the scene including U.S. Homeland Security, EMS and a special victim's unit.

According to police, Nichols later admitted to transporting the group during an interrogation.

The suspect was subsequently arrested.