Two Handed Sentence for Transporting Illegal Aliens
|Oct. 4, 2012|
McALLEN, Texas - Enrique Gonzalez-Cavazos, 41, a legal permanent resident of Lopeno, has been sentenced to prison following his convictions of three counts of transporting illegal aliens within the United States, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Gonzalez-Cavazos was found guilty following two days of trial and approximately two hours of deliberation on July 26, 2012. Also sentenced today was co-defendant Julian Cisneros Jr., 48, of Roma, who pleaded guilty April 18, 2012.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who presided over the trial, handed Gonzalez-Cavazos a 48-month sentence, while Cisneros will serve 22 months in prison. At the hearing today, additional evidence established that these individuals had transported several loads of undocumented aliens. Judge Crane noted that Gonzalez-Cavazos’ alcohol consumption during the offense placed the lives of not only the undocumented aliens, who were locked in the bed of his truck, but also the lives of law enforcement and others in the roadway in danger. Cisneros will be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of his prison term.
Evidence presented at trial proved that on March 19, 2012, Border Patrol agents observed a group of undocumented aliens walking through the brush approximately a mile away from the Rio Grande River near Fronton, Texas. Agents learned that a red truck had just picked up the group of aliens and later was observed traveling away from the area. Agents followed the vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver refused to stop. The driver then led agents on a pursuit and ultimately attempted to bail out; however, agents were able to apprehend the driver and owner of the red truck - Gonzalez-Cavazos – along with Cisneros and 10 undocumented aliens.
Testimony proved that three adult aliens were transported in the rear cab of the truck along with an 11-year-old male. The remaining six undocumented aliens were transported in the bed of the truck covered by a hard cover bed cover. The undocumented aliens were unable to open the cover from within the bed as it could only be opened from the outside of the truck.
Deposition testimony from some of the aliens was provided at trial, all of whom identified Gonzalez-Cavazos as the driver of the vehicle and indicated he had in some way instructed them or told them to get into his vehicle.
The defense attempted to convince the jury that because he was extremely intoxicated at the time of the offense, he was unable to comprehend what he was doing and, therefore, not guilty.
The jury disagreed and found him guilty of three counts of alien transportation as charged.
Both will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Border Patrol investigated. Assistant United States Attorneys Patricia Rigney and Kristen Rees prosecuted the case.