April 2, 2010
CORSICANA MAN SENTENCED FOR ALIEN TRANSPORTING CONSPIRACY
(LAREDO, Texas) – Martin Govea has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for conspiracy to transport illegal aliens by means of a motor vehicle, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez handed down the sentence yesterday after finding Govea acted as a leader or organizer of an extensive criminal activity.
Govea, 47,of Corsicana, Texas, pleaded guilty in April 2009. In addition to the prison term, Govea was assessed a $3,000 fine and ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison.
Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested Govea on Feb. 4, 2009, on a bench warrant resulting from a sealed indictment. The indictment arose from an investigation stemming from the earlier arrest and prosecution of co-conspirators who had themselves been arrested while transporting illegal aliens in tractor-trailers at the IH-35 Border Patrol checkpoint north of Laredo over a two-year-period from 2006 to 2008. Eduardo Garcia was arrested with illegal aliens twice - in November 2006 and February 2007 - and, on both occasions, was driving the same 1998 Freightliner tractor owned by Govea’s trucking company. Garcia implicated Govea as the person with whom he conspired to transport several loads of between six to eight aliens from Laredo to Pearsall, Texas, between 2006 and 2007. Garcia was subsequently prosecuted separately for his participation in transporting aliens.
Tractor-trailer drivers Tony Blackmon and Jesus Enrique Tristan were also arrested - in August 2007 and February 2008, respectively - at the IH-35 checkpoint with illegal aliens and were themselves prosecuted. Tristan was driving a 2001 Peterbilt tractor owned by Govea and both Blackmon and Tristan also implicated Govea as the source of the aliens which were loaded in Laredo. In total, Judge Alvarez held Govea responsible for transporting up to 99 aliens. Both the 1998 Freightliner and the 2001 Peterbilt tractors were forfeited to the United States.
After his February 2009 arrest, Govea was released on a $75,000 bond under court supervision and was allowed by the Judge to voluntarily surrender upon notification to serve his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was investigated by ICE and Border Patrol and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roberto F. Ramirez.
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