A truck driver has been charged in Texas with illegally transporting dozens of immigrants in his tractor-trailer in sweltering heat that led to the deaths of 10 people.
James Matthew Bradley Jr, 60, was arrested on Sunday after authorities found eight men dead in the back of his truck parked outside a Walmart store in San Antonio along with scores of other immigrants, including children, suffering from dehydration and heat stroke.
Two people died later at hospitals and dozens of others were treated, officials said.
Some immigrants came from Mexico, officials said, and at least two Guatemalans were found alive but dehydrated, the Guatemalan foreign ministry said. Outside temperatures topped 37.8 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
Bradley told investigators at the scene he did not know anyone was inside the truck until he parked near the Walmart to use the bathroom, according to the criminal complaint.
Bradley appeared briefly in court to be charged under a law that makes it illegal to transport an immigrant while knowing the person is in the country illegally or in "reckless disregard" of that fact, according to a complaint filed in federal court in San Antonio, about 150 miles (240 km) north of the US-Mexico border.
If convicted on the single count, Bradley could face the death penalty or life in prison.
San Antonio police found Bradley inside the tractor-trailer when they arrived, according to an account in the criminal complaint.
He told federal investigators he was driving the tractor-trailer from Iowa to Brownsville, Texas, to deliver it to the new owner. After parking outside the Walmart, he heard banging and shaking.