Oct. 5, 2009
EMPLOYER PLEADS GUILTY TO HARBORING ILLEGAL ALIEN WHO KILLED HOUSTON POLICE OFFICER
(HOUSTON) – The employer of an illegal alien convicted of capital murder in connection with the shooting death of Houston Police Department (HPD) Officer Rodney Johnson pleaded guilty to harboring an illegal alien this morning, United States Attorney Tim Johnson and Special Agent in Charge Robert Rutt, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations, announced today.
Robert Lane Camp, 47, the owner of Camp Landscaping in Deer Park, Texas, pleaded guilty today during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, obviating the need for a jury trial scheduled to begin tomorrow. Camp was charged initially charged by criminal complaint in January 2008 with encouraging Juan Leonardo Quintero-Perez to unlawfully enter the U.S. and with harboring Quintero.
Quintero is the convicted killer of HPD Officer Rodney Johnson. In September 2006, Quintero was pulled over by HPD Officer Johnson while he was driving one of Camp’s work vehicles. Quintero was subsequently arrested for failing to provide a driver’s license, handcuffed and placed into the HPD patrol car. Quintero shot Johnson from the back seat of the patrol car with a gun he had hidden on his person, causing Johnson’s death. Quintero was charged by the state of Texas and subsequently convicted of capital murder. He is presently serving a life sentence.
According to court documents, Camp helped Quintero remain in the United States despite the fact that he was charged in 1998 with the state felony offense of indecency with a child. When Quintero was arrested in 1998, he identified Camp as his employer and Camp posted a $10,000 bond on Quintero’s behalf to effect his release from state custody. Following his conviction for the state offense and the imposition of a probationary sentence, Quintero was deported from the United States by federal authorities, but illegally returned to the country in 1999. Upon Quintero’s unlawful return to the United States, Camp provided him with a job and residence.
“ICE, using our law enforcement authorities and working with the U.S. Attorney's Office, was able to bring this employer to justice,” said Rutt. “This tragedy illustrates the hiring of illegal aliens is not a victimless crime. Too often those in the U.S. illegally are desperate to avoid law enforcement and take desperate actions which can turn tragic."
Camp faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 at sentencing set for Feb 1, 2010. He has been permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
This case was investigated by ICE special agents and officers of the HPD and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jay Hileman and Ryan D. McConnell.
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