Federal Jury Convicts Albuquerque Man for Transporting an Illegal Alien
ALBUQUERQUE – This afternoon, a federal jury sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., convicted Efrain Gonzales-Perez, 42, of Albuquerque, for transporting an illegal alien after a two-day trial. The guilty verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and Chief Patrol Agent Scott A. Luck, El Paso Sector, U.S. Border Patrol.
Gonzales-Perez was indicted on May 8, 2012, and charged with transporting an illegal alien in New Mexico on March 15, 2012. Trial of the case began on Jan. 28, 2013 and concluded this afternoon when the jury returned a guilty verdict on the sole count of the indictment.
The evidence at trial established that, in summer 2011, the FBI and U.S. Border Patrol obtained information about Gonzales-Perez’s alien smuggling activities. The agents used the information to initiate a covert investigation into Gonzales-Perez during which they recorded telephone conversations relating to alien smuggling. The recorded telephone conversations revealed that in March 2012, Gonzales-Perez made arrangement for others to transport an illegal alien from El Paso, Texas, to Albuquerque. Gonzales-Perez was arrested on March 15, 2012, in the vicinity of an Albuquerque-area truck stop after he had picked up the illegal alien and paid a $1200 transportation fee.
The jury deliberated for approximately an hour and a half before returning the guilty verdict.
At sentencing, Gonzales-Perez faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. He remains on conditions of release pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the U.S. Border Patrol, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquel Ruiz-Velez.