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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

February 10, 2011

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

GUARDING A STASH HOUSE HOLDING ILLEGAL ALIENS NETS MEXICAN NATIONAL A PRISON TERM

(HOUSTON, Texas) –  A previously convicted Mexican national illegally in the United States, who conspired to harbor other illegal aliens and possessed a firearm in violation of federal law, has been sentenced to prison, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

Elicio Moctezuma-Cisneros, 30, citizen of Mexico, previously convicted of kidnapping and robbery, pleaded guilty on June 22, 2010 to conspiracy to harbor aliens, being an alien in possession of a firearm, and illegally re-entering the U. S. after being deported.  U. S. District Judge Nancy Atlas, accepted Moctezuma-Cisneros’ guilty pleas and convicted him of each of the three federal offenses.  Today, Judge Atlas sentenced Moctezuma-Cisneros to 46 months imprisonment without parole on each of the three convictions.  The court has ordered that the sentences be served concurrently. Moctezuma-Cisneros is subject to deportation upon release from prison.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HIS) initiated in March 2010 after a shootout at a residence located on the 200 block of Vashti Drive in Houston, Texas. The residence was  being used as a stash house to harbor illegal aliens. Moctezuma-Cisneros, along with Juan Santiago Hernandez, 19, were guarding approximately 80-90 undocumented aliens at the Vashti stash house until smuggling fees were paid by their relatives/friends to the alien smugglers. The undocumented aliens would be released upon payment of the fees to the smugglers. 

On March 29, 2010, the Vashti Drive alien stash house was raided by Kenneth Barahona, 18, of Honduras and an unknown suspect dressed law enforcement gear - ICE and POLICE shirts with the intention of stealing the “load” of smuggled aliens.  Moctezuma-Cisneros and Kenneth Barahona exchanged gunfire and both suffered gunshot wounds and have since recovered.

Barahona was charged in a separate but related case and has since been convicted of conspiring to harbor illegal aliens and being an alien in possession of a firearm. In November, 2010, Barahona was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison by Judge Sim Lake. Moctezuma-Cisneros’ co-defendant, Hernandez, was sentenced to 46 months in October 2010 by Judge Atlas for conspiring with Moctezuma-Cisneros to harbor illegal aliens.  Both are presently in federal custody serving their sentences.

In custody since his March 2010 arrest, Moctezuma-Cisneros will remain in federal custody transfer to a U. S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where he will serve his sentence.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady prosecuted this case.

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