News and Press Releases

Six Sentenced in Illegal Alien Conspiracy

Dec. 18, 2012

HOUSTON – A total of six people have been handed sentences following their convictions in an illegal alien harboring/transportation conspiracy, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Christian Lara-Reyes, 29, Victor Lara Bravo, 52, and Jose Alfonso Hernandez, 30, all Mexican citizens; and Raquel Dainese Phillips, 23, Dale Franklin Jones, 51, and Clarence Leroy Teel, 53, all of Houston.

All six previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens within the United States. Today, U.S. District Judge  Gray H. Miller handed Lara-Reyes a sentence of 24 months, while Hernandez and Jones were ordered to serve 11 and four months, respectively. Bravo and Teel were each ordered to federal prison for a term of 12 months, and Phillips will be on probation and serve two years on home confinement. Jones and Teel will serve two and three-year-terms of supervised release, respectively, following completion of their prison terms, while Lara-Reyes, Bravo and Hernandez are expected to face deportation proceedings upon their release from prison.

The case against these six began after Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) obtained information during the Investigation of an alien smuggling operation headed by Armando Olmedo-Trevino, 47, of Wharton, in the Corpus Christi area. Lara-Reyes admitted he transported undocumented aliens from south Texas to the Houston area in order to further facilitate the aliens’ movement further into the United States at the request of Olmedo-Trevino. Lara-Reyes transported and harbored the undocumented aliens with the assistance of Bravo and Hernandez. Lara-Bravo and Hernandez watched over the aliens until smuggling fees were paid by the aliens’ friends and family members.

Teel recruited and provided drivers to transport undocumented aliens on behalf of the alien smuggling organization. Teel admitted he began smuggling illegal aliens in 2008 and eventually graduated to recruiting drivers for the alien smuggling organization.

Additional evidence revealed that on multiple occasions, Phillips and Jones transported undocumented aliens for the alien smuggling organization. Phillips informed HSI agents she was recruited to transport illegal aliens by Jeffery Mark Williams, 55, of Sugar Land.

On Sept. 7, 2012, Williams entered a guilty plea to conspiring to transport and harbor illegal aliens. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 15, 2013, at which time he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

The case against Olmedo-Trevino was prosecuted in the Corpus Christi Division by Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) Chad Cowan and Jeffrey Preston. He received the statutory maximum of 120 months.

The cases were investigated by HSI. The Houston case was prosecuted by Special AUSA Daniel J. Menes and former Special AUSA Kimani Eason.