Federal authorities arrested Pedro Alejandro Rodriguez, a juvenile probation officer from South Texas, after discovering a Honduran migrant hiding in his vehicle.

The incident occurred near Laredo, Texas, when Rodriguez, driving a gray Ford Escape, approached a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Texas Highway 39. On Thursday morning, he appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge, who informed him of the charges and ordered him held without bond. Rodriguez waived a preliminary hearing and requested a court-appointed attorney.

Border Patrol Arrests Probation Officer for Smuggling Migrant
The city of Laredo, Texas is currently under a state of emergency due to the recent surge of migrants

Court records from U.S. Homeland Security Investigations indicate that on Sunday, Rodriguez wore a badge from the Hidalgo County Juvenile Probation Office during the smuggling attempt. He claimed he was returning from a training event in Laredo when he reached the checkpoint.

A USBP agent noticed “a large quantity of air fresheners” in the vehicle, and a police dog alerted agents to the rear cargo area. Upon inspection, agents found Honduran migrant David Edgardo Rodriguez Maldonado hiding under a black sheet.

Rodriguez Maldonado stated he had crossed from Mexico on a raft two days earlier and his sister had arranged the smuggling. He believed he was in McAllen, not near Laredo.

When questioned about his role, Pedro Alejandro Rodriguez requested an attorney and refused to answer.