United States Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced in a release that a man has plead guilty to one count of alien smuggling after "attempting to smuggle individuals in a flag-draped coffin."
Zachary Taylor Blood admitted to the charges after an incident in October 2021 in which he was stopped at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias.
The release states the officials saw the coffin in the back of the van, and after asking was transporting, they said he responded with "dead guy, Navy guy."
However, the coffin was in bad condition, and the American flag on the casket was taped to the top with packing tape, which aroused suspicion.
Officials then led Blood to a second inspection point, where they discovered two Mexican nationals inside the coffin.
"The two men admitted to paying a smuggler to get them to San Antonio," the release states. "They claimed that after crossing the river into the United States, they were taken to a parking lot where Blood was waiting for them. He had them get into the coffin and began driving north."
Blood faces up to five years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 11.