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April 13, 2012

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Laredoan Guilty of Smuggling Illegal Aliens

LAREDO, Texas - Jose Rolando Ortiz, 30, of Laredo, Texas, has been found guilty on all 10 counts as charged, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Following three days of trial and a day of jury deliberations, the jury returned guilty verdicts for transporting and harboring undocumented aliens and conspiring to transport and harbor undocumented aliens as well as possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

During trial, the jury heard testimony from Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) and Border Patrol (BP) agents, a chemist, a number of undocumented alien witnesses and others as to the illegal conduct of Ortiz.

Following a nearly two-year investigation into his conduct, Ortiz was arrested in the spring of 2011. His alien smuggling organization smuggled approximately 100 undocumented aliens, including people from China, India, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and utilized tactics that, in some cases, endangered the lives of the aliens being smuggled.

Ortiz did not take the witness stand.  His attorney unsuccessfully defended the case by attempting to impeach the credibility of the government’s witnesses.

The case was investigated by ICE and BP and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys D. J. Young, David White and Roel Canales.