Man Confesses to Smuggling Immigrants in Coffin

Man Confesses to Smuggling Immigrants in Coffin

( – When a soldier dies outside of the US, his or her body usually returns home in a flag-draped coffin. People recognize this as a sign of a fallen hero, so it’s especially horrendous when someone misuses it to commit a crime.

Zachary Taylor Blood admitted he helped smuggle undocumented immigrants by hiding them in a coffin draped with the US flag. He pleaded guilty to a charge of alien smuggling for the October 26, 2021 incident.

Blood had modified a van to carry the cargo, and when stopped by Border Patrol authorities, he told them he was carrying a dead sailor from the Navy. He banked on the officer’s respect for a lost soldier to allow him to pass through unchecked, but the banged-up coffin with its taped-on flag didn’t fool the officer, and he sent the van for another inspection.

At the second checkpoint, agents discovered two men inside the coffin who said they paid a smuggler to get them into the US. They explained they crossed into the US before getting into Blood’s van and hoped to continue to their desired endpoint in San Antonio.

For the crime, Blood faces a fine of up to $250,000 and could spend as much as five years in prison. US District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will sentence him on May 11.

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