Texas DPS to increase truck inspections as death toll of migrants found dead in 18-wheeler at 53

Federal authorities charged four people in connection to the deaths of 53 migrants found inside a sweltering 18-wheeler in San Antonio this week.

One of those men, 45-year-old Homero Zamorano, was the driver of the truck. He's charged with smuggling resulting in death.

Authorities shared a photo of the suspect driving the truck at a checkpoint about 130 miles south of San Antonio. Hours later, the discovery was made.

Authorities said the driver of an 18-wheeler carrying nearly 70 migrants entered the U.S. from Laredo and passed through a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol checkpoint in Texas without being caught.

Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the Texas Department of Public Safety will create additional checkpoints and increase truck inspections.

They'll specifically target 18-wheelers coming across the border from Mexico.

Gov. Abbott claimed the federal government is understaffed and not doing its job. 

New details are being released about where the 18-wheeler carrying dozens of undocumented migrants who were found dead in the trailer came from.

In a press conference Wednesday with the President of Mexico, officials showed an image of the alleged truck driver. They identified him as 45-year-old Homero Zamorano. They said the security camera photo of him was taken just before 3 p.m. Monday in Encinal, Texas, near Laredo.

About three hours later, and 130 miles away, San Antonio police got the 9-1-1 call about the bodies in the truck.

Mexican officials also showed a picture of Zamorano in a hospital bed after they said he tried to pretend he was one of the survivors. 

The Texas Tribune reports the registration on the truck sent investigators to a San Antonio home, where two other men were arrested. 

The report said the two were in the U.S. illegally. 

"The truck passed through a border point checkpoint," Gov. Abbott explained. "It was not inspected because the Border Patrol does not have the resources to be able to inspect all of the trucks."

Mexican officials said 67 migrants were in the hot trailer. The death toll is now 53.

In Eagle Pass on Wednesday, Gov. Abbott held a press conference, continuing to blame President Joe Biden for the incident and the ongoing surge at the U.S./Mexico border. 

"It is the deadliest migrant smuggling incident on U.S. soil and it is on President Biden’s watch," Gov. Abbott said.

Political finger-pointing aside, Abbott announced new actions in response to the human smuggling incident. He said Texas DPS is creating two teams that'll be comprised of 40 troopers to target problem areas. 

Gov. Abbott also announced Texas will increase truck inspections with new checkpoints, but would not say where and how many. 

"Our job is to surprise the cartels and smugglers, not to tell them in advance where we will be," he said.

For a short time last spring, the governor ordered increased commercial truck inspections at ports of entry, which caused significant commerce delays. They were eased after commitments from leaders in Mexico to increase inspections there.

As for the investigation, DPS said it has seen multiple incidents this year of vehicles used for smuggling being cloned using information from other trucks. That was the case in San Antonio.

In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on June 27, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. According to reports, at least 46 people, who are believed migrant workers from Mexico, were found dead in an abandoned tractor tra

RELATED: Trucking company says 18-wheeler with 51 dead migrants inside was 'cloned' by human smugglers

The truck has the name and DOT numbers of a company out of Alamo, Texas.

FOX 4 spoke to the owner's family, and they showed a picture of their truck that was nowhere near San Antonio Monday. 

"Texas is going to take action to do our part to try to reduce the illegal immigration coming into our country," Gov. Abbott said.

FOX 4 reached out to Customs and Border Protection for comment, and we are still waiting on their response.