Illegal Alien from Mexico Pleads Guilty to Human Smuggling Conspiracy
Gulfport, Miss. – Javier Tellez-Lopez, 38, an illegal alien from Mexico living in South Carolina, pled guilty yesterday before Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to conspiracy to transport illegal aliens within the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New Orleans, and Gregory K. Bovino, Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector.
Tellez-Lopez will be sentenced by Judge Guirola on July 31, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. He faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, a maximum $250,000 fine, and special assessments that could total $5,100. He will also be subject to immigration removal proceedings.
On January 28, 2019, an interdiction agent with the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team conducted a traffic stop on a GMC Yukon XL with South Carolina license plates at or about the 62-mile marker on interstate I-10 eastbound in Jackson County. The agent observed eight occupants of the vehicle, which was being driven by Javier Tellez-Lopez.
Border Patrol Agents arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and interviewed the occupants of the vehicle as to their citizenships, determining none had proper documents and all were illegally present in the United States. Of the eight total vehicle occupants (two drivers and six passengers), all were illegal aliens from Mexico. All occupants were arrested and transported to the Border Patrol Station in Gulfport. HSI and Border Patrol agents determined the six passengers were being smuggled within the United States. Further investigation determined that five of the six passengers had unlawfully returned after being formally removed from the United States. Each of these five passengers were separately prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. Attorney Hurst praised the cooperation exhibited by Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Border Patrol, the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Gautier Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Stan Harris is the prosecutor for the case.