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Press Release

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Transport Unauthorized Aliens

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

FARGO – United States Attorney Mac Schneider, District of North Dakota, announced that on June 7, 2023, Rodolfo Arzola-Carrillo, age 39, Mexican National residing in Tifton, Georgia, pled guilty in Federal Court, Fargo, ND, before Chief Judge Peter D. Welte, to the offense of Conspiracy to Transport Unauthorized Aliens.  Chief Judge Welte imposed the sentence of 18 months in Federal Prison, one-year supervised release and $100.00 Special Assessment.

An investigation determined that Rodolfo Arzola-Carrillo conspired, coordinated, and partially carried out the smuggling of a group of seven undocumented noncitizens from Mexico, including two minor children, across the United States - Canada border into North Dakota and down to Georgia in November 2022. The plan fell apart when weather conditions deteriorated, putting lives at risk. The harsh temperature, snow, and wind caused the group to seek assistance from the Pembina County Sheriff’s Office, who responded to aid all nine individuals and then alerted U.S. Border Patrol.

Arzola-Carrillo’s co-defendant, Ernesto Falcon Jr., is set for a change-of-plea and sentence hearing on August 21, 2023.

“As this case and others have shown, attempting to smuggle human beings across the northern border is not just illegal and exploitative, it is also a threat to human life,” Schneider said. “The U.S. Attorney’s office will continue working with the U.S. Border Patrol and our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement to hold smugglers accountable, maintain the rule of law, and keep people safe.”

“The collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this case was outstanding. This incident is a testament to our long-standing partnership with the Pembina County Sheriff’s Office.  Human smuggling can be very dangerous and I’m glad that this came to a successful law enforcement resolution.  As a reminder, anyone who puts their lives in the hands of a smuggler, is putting their life, and the lives of their family at risk.” Chief Patrol Agent Scott D. Garrett said. 

This case was investigated by the United States Border Patrol, with assistance from the Pembina County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob T. Rodenbiker.

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Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7458

Updated June 8, 2023