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June 20, 2012

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Houston Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Human Smuggling

McALLEN, Texas - Adan Gutierrez-Mendez, 47, of Houston, has been sentenced to 120 months imprisonment for his role in the conspiracy to harbor and harboring aliens for profit,  United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Gutierrez-Mendez was convicted by a jury following a two-day trial on April 4, 2012.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who presided over the trial, handed Gutierrez-Mendez the sentence this morning and further ordered he serve three years of supervised following completion of that prison term.

During the trial, two women testified they had made arrangements with smugglers in Guatemala to come into the U.S. During their travel through Mexico, they were given a code word - Parajon. This became important because they later testified that after crossing into the United States, they were separated out in a group that belonged to someone named Parajon. The women spent one night at the stash house and were later taken to a trailer in McAllen. Upon arrival, these women, according to their testimony, were introduced to Gutierrez-Mendez as Parajon.  They testified Gutierrez told them he was Parajon and that he was in charge of the stash houses in the United States.

On the evening they were at the trailer, the women stated they were sexually assaulted, but not by Gutierrez-Mendez. The next morning, the females were able to escape the house.

Gutierrez-Mendez testified at trial that he was never in the trailer and denied ever seeing the women.

He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Kristen Rees.