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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Aug. 30, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Aliens on a Plane Leads to Federal Conviction

McALLEN, Texas – Jorge Luis Gallegos-Avila, 39, of Tampico, Mexico, has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiring to harbor, conceal and shield illegal aliens from detection, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Gallegos was arrested near the McAllen-Miller International Airport after illegal aliens were found boarding a charter plane on June 20. On that date, Gallegos was observed dropping off illegal aliens at the airport. During a ramp check inspection conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Border Patrol agents, five illegal aliens were found boarding a charter plane destined for San Antonio, Texas.

Gallegos admitted today in court that he had conspired with another person to harbor, conceal and shield illegal aliens from detection. He further admitted he had dropped off illegal aliens at a stash house near Alamo, Texas, provided them with food there and then picked them up in a Dodge Durango on June 20 to take them to the airport in order for the aliens to fly to San Antonio.

Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, who accepted the guilty plea today, set sentencing for Nov. 28, at which time Gallegos faces up to 10 years in federal prison with no parole and a possible fine of up to $250,000. Gallegos has been held without bond since his arrest and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

HSI and Border Patrol investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Sully is prosecuting the case.