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Press Release

Illegal Alien Sentenced for Concealing the Smuggling of Aliens within the United States

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

Gulfport, Miss. – Alfonso Tellez-Lopez, 40, an illegal alien from Mexico, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., to time served, which was 170 days imprisonment, as well as one year of supervised release, for misprision of  a felony, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans, and Gregory K. Bovino, Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector.  Alfonso Tellez-Lopez will also be subject to immigration removal proceedings.  If he unlawfully returns to the United States after being removed, he could face additional prosecution and imprisonment.

Misprison of a felony means that a person has known that a felony was being committed and did not report it to officials at the earliest opportunity, and took some affirmative action to conceal the crime.  Alfonso Tellez-Lopez was charged in connection with the unlawful transportation of aliens within the United States by his brother, Javier Tellez-Lopez.  Alfonso Tellez-Lopez pled guilty before Judge Guirola on May 28, 2019.

On May 2, 2019, Alfonso Tellez-Lopez’s brother, Javier Tellez-Lopez, pled guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully transport aliens within the United States, and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 7, 2019, by Judge Guirola.  Javier Tellez-Lopez, who also is an illegal alien from Mexico, faces a potential maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, not more than 3 years of supervised release, a maximum $250,000 fine, $5,100 in assessments, and will be subject to immigration removal proceedings.

On January 28, 2019, an interdiction agent of the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team conducted a lawful traffic stop on a vehicle on interstate I-10 eastbound in Jackson County.  The agent observed eight occupants of the vehicle driven by Javier Tellez-Lopez.  Alfonso Tellez-Lopez was riding in the front passenger seat and had served as a co-driver.  Border Patrol Agents arrived on the scene and interviewed the occupants of the vehicle as to their citizenships, determining that none had proper documents and all were illegally present in the United States.  Of the 8 total vehicle occupants (2 drivers and 6 passengers), all were illegal aliens from Mexico.  All occupants were arrested and transported to the Border Patrol Station in Gulfport.  A Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent joined Border Patrol Agents and determined the 6 passengers were being smuggled within the United States.

Further investigation determined that 5 of the 6 passengers had unlawfully returned after being formally removed from the United States.  Each of these 5 passengers were separately prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, pled guilty, and were convicted of the felony offense of illegal return by an alien after removal.    

U.S. Attorney Hurst praised the cooperation exhibited by the Department of Homeland Security, 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 was the prosecutor for the case.

Updated July 16, 2019

Human Smuggling