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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

March 25, 2010

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

TWO CHARGED IN SMUGGLING OPERATION THAT LEFT 14 INJURED FOLLOWING VEHICLE ROLLOVER

(LAREDO, Texas) – A criminal complaint has been filed against two Mexican nationals for their alleged involvement in the smuggling operation that ended with the rollover of a white Suburban on state highway 83 on Monday, March 22, resulting in injury to 14, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

Jose Benito Vallejos-Castillo, 25, and Marco Antonio Ramirez-Rios, 18, both of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico have been charged by criminal complaint with conspiring to transport illegal aliens in the United States.  Both men remain in federal custody without bond after their initial appearance this morning before a United States Magistrate Judge in Laredo, Texas.  A preliminary examination and detention hearing is scheduled for April 1, 2010.  

According to allegations contained in the criminal complaint filed on Tuesday, March 24, 2010,  Vallejos-Castillo and  Ramirez-Rios were allegedly the guides of the 18 illegal aliens found strewn about Highway 83 near Mangana Hein Road after the driver lost control of the white Suburban as he fled from a Department of Public Safety trooper attempting to make a traffic stop.  Vallejos-Castillo and Ramirez-Ramos were among the illegal aliens – including two unaccompanied minors – found at the scene and involved in the rollover. Fourteen of the aliens were transported to area hospitals for medical evaluation and treatment. Two others involved in the accident fled the accident scene and escaped apprehension.

Through further investigation by Border Patrol (BP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who responded to the scene of the accident, the illegal aliens – 14 from Mexico, one from El Salvador, one from Guatemala and two from Ecuador --  had allegedly been directed to board the white Suburban by Vallejos-Castillo and Ramirez- Rios after these men had guided them across the Rio Grande from Mexico.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney James Ustynoski. 

    

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