A Texas man admitted to attempting to smuggle two people into the United States in a coffin covered with an American flag last year.
Zachary Taylor Blood, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of alien smuggling in connection to an incident in October, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas. Blood was transporting the casket in a van when he drove through a Border Patrol checkpoint near the U.S.-Mexico border.
When Border Patrol authorities noticed the casket and asked Blood who he was transporting, he responded, “Dead guy, Navy guy,” according to the statement.
The coffin was reported to be in bad condition and the American flag, typically used to cover the caskets of soldiers killed in combat, was taped to the casket with packing tape.
Officials then referred Blood to a second inspection, wherein they discovered two men from Mexico concealed in the casket, the statement said.
The men admitted to paying a smuggler to get them from Mexico to San Antonio and that after arriving in the U.S., they made their way to a parking lot where Blood was waiting for them to begin driving north.
Blood faces up to five years in federal prison and a potential $250,000 fine, according to the Southern District of Texas.
Source: The Hill