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Press Release

Man from Tucson, Arizona convicted of federal alien transporting charge in New Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A federal jury in Las Cruces, New Mexico returned a guilty verdict yesterday against Francisco Armando Martinez, 39, of Tucson, Arizona on one count of transporting illegal aliens.   

            The evidence at trial showed that a group of illegal aliens from Mexico paid smugglers to help them cross the border into the United States illegally.  They gathered at a guest house in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.  They paid for backpacks containing food and water for the trip and took a taxi to the border where a guide led them into the United States through the desert on foot.  Martinez picked up the illegal aliens on the side of the road to transport them.  He told them to wear their seat belts and be quiet.  Martinez later drove to a gas station where border patrol agents questioned him about the people inside his vehicle and discovered Martinez was transporting illegal aliens.

            The jury acquitted Martinez of a charge of conspiracy to transport aliens.  He is currently out of custody awaiting sentencing.  Martinez faces up to 5 years in prison.

            U.S. Border Patrol investigated this case with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations.   Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luis Martinez and Taylor Hartstein of the Las Cruces Branch Office are prosecuting the case.  

Updated February 26, 2020

Human Smuggling
Press Release Number: 20-029