Department of Justice Logo and United States Attorney's Office Header

Nov. 29, 2012

(713) 567-9388

Mexican Man Lands in Prison After Illegal Aliens Seen Boarding a Plane

McALLEN, Texas – Jorge Luis Gallegos-Avila, 39, of Tampico, Mexico, has been handed a federal prison sentence for conspiring to harbor, conceal and shield illegal aliens from detection, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Gallegos-Avila pleaded guilty Aug. 30, 2012.

At a hearing late yesterday, Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa handed Gallegos-Avila a 16-month-term in federal prison. As an illegal alien, he is also expected to face deportation proceedings following completion of his prison term.

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 during his guilty plea 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.

Gallegos has been held without bond since his arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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