Texas Husband And Wife Sentenced For Conspiracy To Transport Illegal Aliens
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced both Ramon Vasallo (48, Katy, Texas) and Marlene Vasallo (49, Katy, Texas) to 30 months in federal prison for conspiring to transport illegal aliens throughout the United States, from the Houston, Texas area. The court also ordered both to serve 3 years of supervised release, following their release from imprisonment. In addition, the court also entered a forfeiture judgment against two of their vehicles, a 2003 Chevrolet K1500 Suburban Wagon and a 2009 Dodge Journey SXT, which were used in the conspiracy.
Ramon Vasallo, Cuban national, entered a plea of guilty on September 9, 2011 for conspiring to transport 25 or more illegal aliens from an unknown date prior to, on, or about May 22, 2007 through on, or about May 15, 2010. His wife, Marlene Vasallo, also a Cuban national, also entered guilty pleas on September 9, 2011 to the conspiracy count and to four counts of aiding and abetting the transportation of a total of twenty-five illegal aliens from April 14, 2010 through May 15, 2010.
According to court documents, during the course of the conspiracy, the Vasallos transported and conspired to transport twenty-five or more illegal aliens throughout the United States. One such incident occurred on May 22, 2007, in Tipton County, Indiana during a traffic stop, when the Vasallos were found to be transporting ten illegal aliens. Paperwork found in a vehicle they were using included a passenger list with the names of seventeen persons, with destinations listed including Chicago, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Tennessee, Michigan, and Indiana. Also found was paperwork indicating whether or not the passengers had paid. At the time of the stop, Ramon had $1,351.76 on his person and Marlene had $451.87 on hers. The Vasallos stated that each passenger would pay between $235 and $280 depending on the destination.
During April and May 2010, Ramon and Marlene Vasallo were also directly involved in providing illegal alien passengers to another member (Nicanor Gonzalez-Triana) of the conspiracy. The alien passengers would be delivered to the co-conspirator by the Vasallos in the Houston, Texas area and then be transported by that co-conspirator across the southern part of the United States, into and through the Middle District of Florida (MDFL). Altogether, the Vasallos provided the co-conspirator with 25 illegal alien passengers, to be transported during four different transporting events: April 14-18, 2010; April 19-23, 2010; May 6-8, 2010; and May 12-15, 2010. All four transporting events crossed into and through the MDFL, including a stop in Hillsborough County.
Nicanor Gonzalez-Triana pled guilty to his role in the conspiracy, on February 23, 2011, and was sentenced to time served and 60 months of supervised release.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI) and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald L. Hansen.