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Press Release

Mexican Alien Smuggler Sentenced To 70 Months In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – On January 11, 2019, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth M. Kovachevich sentenced Eutiquio Mendoza-Nandho (46, Mexico) to 5 years and 10 months in federal prison for conspiring to bring and bringing illegal aliens into the United States. Mendoza-Nandho had pleaded guilty on August 29, 2018.

According to court documents, Mendoza-Nandho was the organizer and leader of a Mexican smuggling organization. He worked with his son, Leonel Mendoza-Yerbafria, and family member, Juan Nopal-Nopal, to smuggle at least 78 illegal aliens—many of whom had been previously deported—from Mexico into Texas. They then transferred the aliens to destinations across the United States, including into the Middle District of Florida. The court found that the conditions of the trip, which involved multiple days of walking across the desert in dangerous conditions and without sufficient food or water, put the aliens at substantial risk of injury or death.

According to James C. Spero, the Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), “HSI remains steadfast in our commitment to aggressively pursue members of transnational criminal organizations that exploit and endanger people they smuggle into this country. These smugglers were motivated by greed in complete disregard for the safety of those they were smuggling. HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, such as Border Patrol, to maintain the integrity of our border and the nation’s immigration laws.”

Tampa Border Patrol Agent in Charge Glenn Lendel stated, “This successful prosecution highlights Border Patrol’s dedication to combatting transnational criminal networks that smuggle aliens into the United States. In close collaboration with our local, state, and federal partners, Border Patrol leverages all available resources to target and dismantle these organizations that threaten border communities.”

This case was investigated by HSI and the United States Border Patrol. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.

Updated January 28, 2019

Human Smuggling