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Press Release

Illegal Alien from Mexico Sentenced for Leading Alien Smuggling Ring

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – An illegal alien from Mexico has been handed a federal prison sentence following his conviction of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Jose Isabel Paz-Martinez, 28, pleaded guilty to the charge July 23, 2015, admitting the conspiracy resulted in the death of a young woman.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sentenced Paz-Martinez to 108 months years in federal prison. The sentence was enhanced as the court found he was a leader/organizer in the conspiracy. As  an illegal alien, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.

The conspiracy lasted from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 18, 2014. Paz-Martinez was responsible for coordinating the transportation of illegal aliens from Border Patrol checkpoints to Houston. His role included obtaining vehicles and hiring drivers to transport the illegal aliens. Approximately 87 illegal aliens had been transported during the course of the conspiracy.

On June 10, 2014, a 21-year old woman from El Salvador was with a group of illegal aliens picked up in a truck driven by one of Paz-Martinez’s drivers. As the woman was trying to climb into the back of the truck, the truck sped away prematurely and she slipped and fell onto the highway. Soon after, she was run over by a tractor trailer.

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

The case is being investigated by HSI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chad W. Cowan.

Updated December 7, 2015

Human Smuggling