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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

ABT Gang Member and Another Convicted for Transporting Aliens

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two members of a smuggling conspiracy have entered guilty pleas to their part in transporting illegal aliens in the trunk of a Ford 500 through the Sarita Border Patrol (BP) Checkpoint, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Cody Michael Matousek, 33, of Texas City, and Guadalupe Levario, 38, of Galveston, admitted they conspired to transport  illegal aliens on March 27, 2019. Law enforcement has identified Matousek as an affiliate of the Aryan Brotherhood.

On Feb. 6, 2019, a tow truck driver reported that he had been hired to haul a broken down Ford 500 through the checkpoint from Armstrong to an auto parts store in Kingsville. When picking up the vehicle on the shoulder of Highway 77, the tow truck driver observed a tan medium-sized SUV parked behind the Ford 500. At the checkpoint, the driver told agents he felt suspicious about the vehicle he was hauling because the driver refused to provide the keys.

During the inspection, a BP K-9 alerted to the trunk of the Ford 500. Upon opening the trunk, agents observed two individuals from Brazil who admitted to being illegally present in the United States.

Law enforcement had the driver drop off the Ford 500 in Kingsville to the individual who hired him.

Authorities conducted surveillance at the auto parts store in Kingsville and observed the tan medium-sized SUV. Levario exited the SUV and directed where the truck was to be parked. He then paid the driver, at which time he was placed under arrest. Also taken into custody was Matousek, who was driving the SUV.

Matousek had been the subject of an investigation involved with a human smuggling organization affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) out of Galveston.

Located inside the SUV, authorities discovered numerous iPhones, a backpack and jackets which the undocumented aliens later identified as their property.

The two Brazilians claimed Matousek picked them up somewhere near Mission and transported them to a stash house. The next day, Matousek picked them up and brought them to a motel where he explained the process for them to be smuggled past the checkpoint. There, they also met Levario who told them he would be the one smuggling them past the checkpoint.

The next morning, Levario transported them in a Ford 500. He stopped at an abandoned house south of the checkpoint and put both Brazilians in the trunk of the Ford 500.

Sentencing has been set for July 3, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos. At that time, Matousek and Levario face up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 maximum possible fine.

Matousek will remain in custody, while Levario was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, BP, U.S. Marshals Service and the Kingsville Police Department all assisted in the joint investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Popejoy is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Human Smuggling
Component(s): 
Updated March 27, 2019