News and Press Releases

Alien Smuggler Who Used Craigslist to Hire Drivers Ordered Detained

March 21, 2012

McALLEN, Texas - José Gustavo Diaz-Velasquez, 29, a Mexican national residing in the Rio Grande Valley, has been arrested and ordered detained on charges of alien smuggling, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Diaz was initially apprehended in Rio Grande City, Texas, on March 14, 2012, by Border Patrol officers. He appeared for a probable cause and detention hearing that concluded late this afternoon before United States Magistrate Peter E. Ormsby, at which time he was ordered detained pending the return of a federal indictment for alien smuggling.

According to the criminal complaint, at the time of his detention, Diaz was the subject of an alien smuggling investigation led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) agents which involved the use of the Craigslist website to recruit drivers to transport undocumented aliens within the Rio Grande Valley. The investigation began in August 2011, when ICE-HSI agents identified approximately 10 different postings believed to be connected with the organization. Through further investigation, agents were able to identify the physical location used to make the Craigslist postings as an apartment allegedly belonging to Diaz’s wife in McAllen. Diaz also had a YouTube account in which a copy had allegedly been posted of a dash-cam video of a high speed pursuit which had occurred on April 24, 2011, in La Joya, Texas. Although the driver ultimately eluded capture by law enforcement, officers apprehended nine undocumented aliens from Diaz’s vehicle.

During the course of the investigation, agents interviewed multiple individuals who were hired by the organization to transport undocumented aliens, according to allegations, some of whom were able to provide information in support of the investigation.

On the morning of March 14, 2012, according to the complaint, Border Patrol agents allegedly observed Diaz in the vicinity of an known alien and narcotics smuggling location in Rio Grande City, Texas. Diaz, illegally in the U.S., was taken into custody.

The investigation leading to the charge of alien smuggling was initiated by ICE-HSI with the assistance of Border Patrol. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linda Requénez.

A criminal complaint 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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