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Press Release

Alien Trafficker Gets Enhanced Sentence For Sexual Assault

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

LAREDO, Texas – Juan Zavala Gutierrez, 22, a resident of Mexico, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for transporting undocumented aliens for private financial gain, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.  Gutierrez pleaded guilty June 10, 2013.

In April 2013, Gutierrez, himself an illegal alien, guided a group of 11 illegal aliens from Mexico, crossing through the Rio Grande River into the United States. All the illegal aliens hid in the brush and Gutierrez sexually assaulted them. He ordered the aliens to undress and forced himself on the females, taking advantage of their vulnerability. Gutierrez was admittedly intoxicated and under the influence of drugs.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo handed Gutierrez a sentence of 60 months in federal prison. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that alien smugglers cannot prey on and violate the transported women. Judge Marmolejo, in exercising an upward departure from the U.S. Sentencing guidelines, enhanced the defendant’s punishment to reflect his crude actions.

The case was investigated by the United States Border Patrol and Homeland Service Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker. 

Updated April 30, 2015