Alien Smuggler Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore yesterday sentenced Rigoberto Bautista-Villanueva (38, Orlando) to 3 1/2 years in federal prison for conspiracy to transport 100 or more illegal aliens and two counts of transporting illegal aliens. Bautista-Villanueva is a Honduran citizen with lawful permanent resident status in the United States. The court also ordered Bautista-Villanueva to serve a 5-year term of supervised release and to pay a special assessment of $300.
Bautista-Villanueva was found guilty on November 16, 2011 by a Middle District of Florida jury.
According to court documents and trial testimony, Bautista-Villanueva conspired with other individuals living and working out of Houston, Texas to transport and move 100 or more illegal aliens throughout the United States. The conspiracy commence at an unknown date prior to August 2010 and lasted through on or about February 8, 2011. The evidence showed that Bautista-Villanueva rented various automobiles for use in the transporting of these illegal aliens and that he drove more than 38,000 miles in these vehicles during that period of time. The evidence also showed that he transported one illegal alien to Tampa, Florida on or about January 30, 2011, and was caught, by the United States Border Patrol, transporting three other illegal aliens toward Jacksonville, Florida on or about February 8, 2011. Based upon this conviction, Bautista-Villanueva is expected to lose his lawful permanent resident status in the United States and to be deported to Honduras after serving his sentence in the Bureau of Prisons.
This case was investigated by the United States Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald L. Hansen, a Senior Litigation Counsel in Tampa.