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Press Release

Houston resident sentenced for smuggling minors

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 46-year-old man has been ordered to prison following his conviction of conspiracy to smuggle undocumented aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Medardo Cano pleaded guilty Feb. 15.

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered Cano to serve 18 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

In delivering the sentence, Judge Alvarez noted the seriousness of the offense and expressed her concerns that Cano had no way to verify the minors would be reunited with family had the smuggling attempt been successful.  

“Do not hire smugglers to transport your children,” said Hamdani. “You may never know where they took them or the degree of danger associated with the trip. Do not place your child’s life in the hands of criminals.”

On Dec. 7, 2022, Cano traveled with two minor children from Mexico to the United States. He encountered law enforcement at the Pharr Port of Entry and presented them with fraudulent Texas birth certificates on behalf of the minors. The investigation revealed the minor children were undocumented aliens.

Cano later admitted he had been hired to transport the children to the United States and knew the birth certificates were fraudulent.

Cano will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Phelps prosecuted the case.

Updated April 27, 2023

Human Smuggling