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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Adams County Woman Sentenced To Three Years In Federal Alien Smuggling Case

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on January 26 Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner sentenced Martha Ortiz, 46, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to 36 months in prison for her participation in alien smuggling.  On July 23, 2014, Ortiz pleaded guilty to bringing aliens to the United States and conspiring with her husband and others to carry out the scheme.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, in August and September 2013, Ortiz and others smuggled aliens across the United States-Mexico border by commercial aircraft, in a vehicle with a hidden compartment or “trap” to conceal their presence from law enforcement and on foot.  At least two of these aliens, including a 7 year old boy, traveled from Mexico, through Texas and ultimately into Central Pennsylvania.  Ortiz was paid for bringing aliens across the border.  On September 24, 2013, Ortiz and her husband were stopped with tickets to Mexico City at the Harrisburg International Airport by agents from DEA and taken into custody.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith A. Taylor.

Updated April 17, 2015