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Press Release

LAPD Officer Indicted For Attempting To Smuggle Mexican Citizen In Trunk Of His Car

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

SAN DIEGO – Los Angeles police Officer Carlos Curiel Quezada, Jr., and his girlfriend, Angelica Godinez, were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges that they attempted to smuggle a Mexican citizen into the United States in the trunk of Quezada’s car at the Otay Mesa border crossing in March.

According to court documents, Quezada drove his 2014 Nissan Juke, with Godinez as the front seat passenger, into the United States through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on March 14, 2015, at about 6:30 p.m. They presented their U.S. passports and told a Customs and Border Protection Officer they had nothing to declare. The officer decided to refer them aside for a more intensive inspection.

During the inspection, officers examined the car with the Z-Portal, a non-intrusive imaging device similar to an X-ray, and detected something unusual in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. Antanasio Perez Avalos, a 26-year-old Mexican national, was found in a compartment in the spare-tire area. All three individuals were then taken into custody and interviewed.

Two days later, Quezada and Godinez were charged in a one-count complaint with Bringing in Illegal Aliens without Presentation. On March 19, 2015, the government’s motion to dismiss the complaint, without prejudice, was granted.

The pair was indicted by a federal grand jury today on the same charge - Bringing in Illegal Aliens without Presentation. Quezada is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment May 7 at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo and Godinez on May 12 at 9:00 am before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major.

DEFENDANTS   Case Number:
Carlos Curiel Quezada Jr. Age: 34 Los Angeles, California
Angelica Godinez Age: 31  

Bringing in Illegal Aliens without Presentation – Title 8 United States Code Sec. 1324(a)(2)(B)(iii)
Maximum penalty: 10 years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine


U.S. Customs and Border Protection

*The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Updated December 7, 2015

Human Smuggling