The potentially lethal boxes were nailed close with inside temperatures reaching 100+ degrees
LAREDO, Texas — A Tennessee man was condemned Thursday to 4 years in sovereign jail for his role in a human bootlegging scheme that placed the smuggled aliens in dangerous and life-threatening conditions.
This judgment was announced by U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, Southern District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Zachary Steven Blizzard, 27, from Kingport, Tennessee, was condemned Feb. 8 by U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle to 48 months in sovereign jail and to 3 years of supervised release. Blizzard pleaded guilty to the human bootlegging charges Sept. 5, 2017.
According to justice documents, on Jun 15, 2017, Blizzard educated 3 illegal aliens, one of whom was a minor, to censor themselves in two aftermarket wooden boxes built into the back of his white 2008 Chevrolet work van. Authorities detected the illegal aliens as Blizzard attempted to pass by a U.S. CBP checkpoint on Highway 59 about 15 miles west of Laredo.
Blizzard is one of eight defendants apprehended given Apr 2017 for transporting illegal aliens in wooden boxes built into the back of vehicles. In some instances, the boxes were nailed or screwed close with temperatures inside mostly reaching some-more than 100 degrees.
On Feb. 8, Judge Tagle also condemned Ricky Lee Parker, 51, from Calhoun, Georgia, to 24 months in jail for transporting eight illegal aliens found sweating and parched in two close wooden boxes.
Prior to the Feb. 8 sentencings, the following human smugglers were also condemned to sovereign prison: Allen North, 39, from Ashland, Kentucky; Richard Jordan Lamar Defoor, 32, from Calhoun, Georgia; Allan Ray Collins, 32, from Isom, Kentucky; and Donna Lynn Williams, 46, from Chatsworth, Georgia; Sean Michael McKinney, 46, from Steger, Illinois. North and Collins any perceived 24 months; Defoor and Collins were condemned to 18 months. McKinney perceived a 30-month term of imprisonment.
The last suspect in this investigation, Travis Dean McKelroy, 48, from San Antonio, pleaded guilty last week and is available sentencing.