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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Federal Jury Finds Mexican National Guilty of Conspiring to Transport Illegal Aliens

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal jury sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., found Juan De Dios Ramos-Ruiz, 50, a Mexican national residing in Socorro, N.M., guilty on an indictment charging him with conspiracy to transport illegal aliens.  The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and El Paso Sector Chief Border Agent Jeffrey D. Self of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Ramos-Ruiz was arrested on Nov. 18, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with conspiracy to transport illegal aliens.  He subsequently was indicted on Jan. 14, 2015, and charged with the same crime.  Trial against Ramos-Ruiz commenced on March 16, 2015, and concluded late this morning when the jury returned a guilty verdict on the sole count of the indictment.

The evidence at trial established that on July 17, 2014, Border Patrol agents executed a traffic stop of a car driven by a woman (the driver) in the vicinity of Hachita, N.M., in Luna County, N.M.  As an agent approached the car, he observed two passengers in the back seat who were crouched down in an effort to conceal themselves.  The agents arrested the three individuals after determining that the driver was a U.S. citizen and the two passengers were Mexican nationals illegally in the United States.  The driver testified at trial that she was recruited by Ramos-Ruiz to transport the two illegal aliens from Socorro to Deming, N.M., on July 17, 2014, with the understanding that someone else would transport them from there to another destination.  The driver described how Ramos-Ruiz drove ahead of her as a “look out” for the Border Patrol while she followed in her vehicle with the two illegal aliens.  The driver also admitted that Ramos-Ruiz paid her $200.00 at the beginning of the drive and expected to be paid another $200.00 when she successfully delivered the two illegal aliens to Deming.

The two illegal aliens also testified and admitted paying $3,500.00 each to be smuggled into the United States.  They testified that after being transported to the United States-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas, on July 15, 2014, they were picked up by Ramos-Ruiz who took them to a mobile home were they remained until July 17, 2014.  In the early morning of July 17, 2014, the illegal aliens were picked up by the driver who instructed them to stay low in the vehicle to avoid detection by law enforcement.

The jury deliberated approximately 25 minutes before returning its guilty verdict.

Ramos-Ruiz has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.  Ramos-Ruiz faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison and will be deported after completing his prison sentence.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces Border Patrol Station of the U.S. Border Patrol and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luis A. Martinez and E. Garreth Winstead, III.

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Updated March 17, 2015