Nearly 40 people found inside tractor-trailer hauling rotting fruit in Sarita

Border Patrol arrested a man Saturday morning after finding nearly 40 people illegally in the country inside a tractor-trailer, hidden behind pallets of old and rotting fruit.

Authorities took Sergio Garcia-Millan into custody at the Javier Vega Jr. Border Patrol checkpoint in Sarita after he arrived there about 5:40 a.m. Saturday, according to a criminal complaint.

Garcia, who was questioned about what he was hauling, told a Border Patrol agent, “I don’t know what’s in the back,” the complaint stated.

While a Border Patrol agent was interviewing Garcia, another agent’s K-9 alerted authorities to the tractor-trailer. Garcia was then referred to a secondary inspection.

When Border Patrol opened the trailer, agents found 38 people hidden behind the pallets of old and rotting fruit, all of whom were in the country illegally, according to the complaint.

The temperature inside the trailer was 61 degrees.

Garcia declined to speak with investigators without a lawyer.