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Press Release

Mexican And Honduran Citizens Indicted On Federal Charges Of Transporting Illegal Foreign Nationals

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

Violations Discovered During Traffic Stop by Tennessee State Trooper

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Mario Garcia-Duarte, 22, of Mexico, and Guadalupe Orellana-Morel, 20, of Honduras, were indicted on June 18, 2013, by a federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn., on charges relating to the transportation of foreign nationals who were in the United States illegally. Both Garcia-Duarte and Orellana-Morel remain in custody and will appear in U.S. District Court later this week.

Garcia-Duarte was the driver of a vehicle that was stopped on June 11, 2013, in Knox County, by Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Trooper Adam Bowman, a member of the THP’s East Bureau Interdiction Plus Team. Orellana-Morel was a passenger in the vehicle.

At the time of the traffic stop, Garcia-Duarte presented a Mexican driver’s license to Trooper Bowman. Further investigation at the scene revealed 14 additional passengers in the vehicle with no luggage or personal items. After a background check on the vehicle, Federal Homeland Security Investigations agents were called to the scene, where they assumed primary responsibility of the investigation.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 18, 2015