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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

San Antonio trailer deaths reveals driver has long criminal history

Photo: AP/Eric Gay
James Mathew Bradley Jr., the 60-year-old accused of allowing 10 illegal immigrants to bake to death inside a sweltering, non-air conditioned tractor-trailer Sunday appeared in federal court Monday. He is charged with illegally transporting immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death.

Bradley, from Clearwater, Florida, didn't enter a plea nor did he speak about what happened. He has been ordered held for another hearing Thursday.

Florida driving records obtained by Fox News indicate the state revoked his commercial driving privileges in April. 

Bradley has an extensive criminal record dating back to the 1990s and span multiple states. He pleaded guilty in a felony domestic violence case in Colorado and was sentenced to two years probation. Records show supervision of Bradley's probation was transferred to Gainesville, Florida.
Photo: AP/Eric Gay

In 1998 he was arrested in Ohio and extradited to Colorado for violating his probation. He was also wanted by a Texas agency for an unknown charge.

In 1999 he had another probation violation complaint but he wasn't arrested. He returned to Colorado in 2003 and was eventually sentenced to a 3-year stretch in a halfway house and still, he violated the terms of that sentence. He apparently just walked out of the place and never returned. 

In 2005 Bradley was sentenced to a year in a Colorado prison and was released in 2007, according to the Department of Corrections. He was on parole until 2009.

Although authorities list Bradley as being from Clearwater, his fiancee spoke with the AP and said he has been staying in Louisville for several years.

Fox13 Tampa reports that Bradley was arrested for grand theft in Hillsborough County, FL, but the actual year the incident occurred or the charges are unknown.

The complaint filed Monday by federal prosecutors said Bradley called his fiancee, Darnisha Rose, who didn't answer. However, when he allegedly made the gruesome discovery in the back of his truck in the Walmart parking lot, he didn't call 911.

His fiancee defended Bradley, saying that he is a good man who would always try to help people in need. Rose said that when he called her from jail Sunday, he claimed he had no idea so many people were crammed in the trailer.

"He said he saw the people in there, laying everywhere," Rose said. "He said he didn't know what to do, which way to go. He was crying, distraught. He was scared. You could tell it in his voice."

Yes, getting collared for murder is very scary.

Rose said that Bradley has diabetes which he didn't properly treat and he ended up losing his leg. He got a prosthetic leg this month and wanted to get back to work.

But Rose said that when she was with Bradley for a brief time, he never told her how the illegal immigrants were loaded into his trailer without his knowledge, as he allegedly told the police.

The truck was registered to Pyle Transportation Inc. from Schaller, IA. The president of the company, Brian Pyle, explained that he sold the truck to someone in Mexico and that Bradley was supposed to deliver it to a drop-off point in Brownsville.
Photo: AP/Eric Gay

Pyle apologized profusely and said he was shocked over the incident.

In addition to the 10 dead, about 20 others who were rescued from the 18-wheeler were hospitalized in dire condition, many of whom are severely dehydrated and had heatstroke.

Mexico's foreign ministry released a statement Monday saying "according to preliminary information" 25 of those inside the rig were Mexican nationals.

Four of the dead and 21 of those hospitalized are Mexican. Some of the othes were from Guatemala.

Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said "Even though they have the driver in custody, I can guarantee you there's going to be many more people we're looking for to prosecute."