Austin man held on $225K in bonds for smuggling of persons

When the Texas Department of Public Safety pulled over a 29-year-old Austin man who was driving a Mrs. Baird’s bread truck last week, the man couldn’t tell the trooper how long he worked for the company or who owned the truck, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Authorities say the inconsistencies in Escoto Leonel Henriquez’s story — and the location they pulled him over in, a known smuggling corridor — raised suspicion.

Now, Henriquez finds himself jailed on $225,000 in bonds for 15 counts of smuggling of persons, records show.

DPS pulled the man over on Aug. 19 at 3:12 p.m. at the intersection of Doffin Road and Mile 3 in Mission because the bread truck he was driving had inoperable/obscured stop lamps and an obscured license plate, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The trooper says in the affidavit that he asked Henriquez, who displayed nervousness, to step out of the vehicle.

“I asked Henriquez where he was coming from; Henriquez stated he was coming from visiting family members. I asked Henriquez how long he had been employed with (Mrs. Baird’s) bread delivery service; Henriquez hesitated and did not know,” a probable cause affidavit stated.

Henriquez, who told the trooper that he had traveled to the Rio Grande Valley from Austin on Aug. 18, said he was heading back to the city, the charging document stated.

The trooper says in the affidavit that he was suspicious and asked consent to search the truck, which Henriquez granted.

“Upon opening the lift gate of the vehicle, I observed several undocumented aliens sitting behind cardboard boxes,” the affidavit stated.

DPS calls Border Patrol, who cleared the vehicle, and discovered 15 people who were in the country illegally, authorities say.

The investigation into the bread truck lead Border Patrol to an address where agents conducted a knock-and-talk and found 11 more people who were in the country illegally, according to the affidavit.