Resident Alien Guilty of Transporting Scores of Illegal Aliens
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury found Rigoberto Bautista-Villanueva (38, Orlando) guilty of one count of conspiring to transport 100 or more illegal aliens and two counts of personally transporting illegal aliens. On each of the three charges, Bautista-Villanueva faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison per alien transported. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 13, 2012.
Bautista-Villanueva, a Honduran national and lawful permanent resident of the United States, was indicted on July 28, 2011 on the above charges.
According to evidence presented at trial, Bautista-Villanueva was part of a Houston, Texas based smuggling organization that transported hundreds of illegal aliens throughout the United States, after they had been smuggled into the country. In addition to being an active member of the conspiracy/organization, Bautista-Villanueva was convicted of transporting illegal aliens in two different transporting events. The first involved the transportation of an illegal alien from Houston to Tampa on or about January 30, 2011, and the second involved transporting three illegal aliens through the Middle District of Florida on February 8, 2011.
This case was investigated by the United States Border Patrol, Tampa Station, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald L. Hansen.