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April 19, 2011

GRAND JURY INDICTS ROMA, TEXAS, WOMAN FOR CONSPIRING TO AND TRANSPORTING ILLEGAL ALIENS

(McALLEN, Texas) – A federal grand jury in McAllen, Texas, has handed up an indictment charging Elvia Elvira Uriegas, 27, of Roma, Texas, with one count of conspiring to transport illegal aliens and two counts of transporting illegal aliens arising from an incident in April in which an attempt to evade law enforcement resulted in two police officers and several aliens requiring medical attention, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. The three-count indictment was returned today.

Uriegas was arrested near Sullivan City, Texas, on April 2, 2011, and initially charged by criminal complaint. According to allegations in a federal criminal complaint filed in McAllen on April 2, 2011, Uriegas was the driver of a Dodge Durango carrying six undocumented aliens as passengers. When officers of the Sullivan City Police Department (SPD) tried to initiate a traffic stop, Uriegas allegedly fled, prompting officers to pursue the vehicle. Uriegas drove erratically onto dirt roads and nearly caused the Durango to flip over, according to the complaint.  The vehicle chase ended when Uriegas slammed on the Durango’s brakes causing a collision with a pursuing  police vehicle. Uriegas and two others fled the scene on foot, but were apprehended by pursuing officers with the assistance of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helicopter pilot. Two police officers and three of the undocumented aliens required medical treatment.

On April 7, following a bond hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos, Uriegas was ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service without bond pending further criminal proceedings. Uriegas is next scheduled to appear in court for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby on April 27.

Each of the three counts charged in the indictment carries a maximum sentence, upon conviction, of 10 years in federal prison without parole, a three-year-term of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The charges are the result of the investigative efforts of the U.S. Border Patrol and the Sullivan City Police Department with the assistance of CBP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Sully is prosecuting the case.

A complaint or indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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