Guilty verdict in conspiracy to transport 124 people
LAREDO, Texas – A federal jury sitting in Laredo has convicted a 67-year-old Laredo man of conspiring to transport people in a sealed trailer, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for two hours before convicting David William McKeon for conspiracy to transport undocumented aliens following a two-day trial.
On April 20, McKeon arrived at the Laredo North Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint while driving a tractor-trailer. At that time, law enforcement heard suspicious noises coming from the trailer. They opened a vent door and discovered 124 locked behind the doors.
At trial, the jury heard that McKeon had said he was recruited for the job at his birthday party a few days earlier. They heard he picked up the tractor-trailer from a dirt road then was given a fraudulent bill of lading in the parking lot of a Popeye’s restaurant before driving to the checkpoint.
However, the defense attempted to convince the jury that McKeon didn’t know there were aliens inside the trailer. The jury ultimately found him guilty of engaging in a conspiracy to transport the aliens.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo presided over trial and will set sentencing at a later date. At that time, McKeon faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
McKeon has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of BP. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Bajew and David Fawcett are prosecuting the case.