A Texas man who transported two men from Mexico in a coffin draped with an American flag, in October of 2021, has pleaded guilty​ to human smuggling.

Zachary Taylor Blood, 33, of Galveston, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of alien smuggling this week, in federal court in Corpus Christi, in connection to an incident in October of 2021, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas. 

Blood faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,00 for his guilty plea. He will remain in custody until his sentencing, which is scheduled for May 11, 2022.

Prosecutors said Blood was transporting the casket in a van through a Border Patrol checkpoint near the U.S.-Mexican border and near Falfurrias, Texas on October 26, 2021, when Border Patrol authorities noticed the casket and asked Blood who he was transporting. Blood responded, “Dead guy, Navy guy,” according to the statement.

Border Agents noticed the coffin was in poor condition and the U.S. flag, typically used to cover the caskets of soldiers killed in combat, was taped to the lid with packing tape. Officials than referred Blood to a second inspection, where agents discovered two Mexican male nationals concealed in the casket.

The two men admitted to paying a smuggler to get them from Mexico to San Antonio. The smuggler took them to a parking lot near the U.S. border, where Blood was waiting. Blood had them get into the coffin and began driving north, authorities said.

We Americans should be thankful for the country we live in. People from all over the world will do anything to get here.

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