March 16, 2010
ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE INFANT FROM MEXICO INTO U. S. THWARTED BY CBP OFFICERS
(McALLEN, Texas) – An attempt by a mother and her daughter-in-law to smuggle an infant boy from Mexico into the United States for financial gain has been thwarted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Hidalgo/Reynosa International Bridge, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and CBP Port Director Hector A. Mancha announced today.
Maria Yolanda Mendoza De-Solis, 42, and her daughter-in-law, 21 year old, Maira Ruiz, both of Pharr, Texas, were arrested by CBP officers on Saturday, March 13, 2010. A criminal complaint, filed on Monday, March 15, 2010, alleges that on that date, De-Solis, carrying a baby, and her daughter-in-law arrived at the Hidalgo Port of Entry as pedestrians and sought entry into the United States. De-Solis allegedly represented the child as her male grandchild and presented a City of Edinburg, Texas birth certificate for the child to CBP officers. Because the women appeared to match the description given by an anonymous concerned caller, the woman and child were referred to pedestrian secondary. At secondary, CBP officers found the child to appeared younger than the stated age on the birth certificate and that the child had pierced ears. Through further investigation, CBP officers determined the child was a female born in Mexico and the women were allegedly to be paid to bring the child into the country illegally. Both women were arrested and have been charged with knowingly bringing the foreign national child into the country for financial gain. Coordination between the U.S. and Mexican authorities resulted in the infant girl being returned to her biological parents the same day.
Hector A. Mancha, CBP Port Director, Hidalgo, Pharr and Anzalduas said, “I commend our frontline officers for their great enforcement work and for their attention to detail.” Mancha further said, “We are happy the child has been reunited with her parents.”
Both women made an initial appearance before U. S. Magistrate Judge Peter E. Ormsby in McAllen yesterday and have been ordered temporarily held in federal custody without bond pending preliminary examination and detention hearings set for tomorrow, March 17, at 3:00 p.m.
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