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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Illegal Alien Ordered to Prison for Multiple Charges

HOUSTON – A 58-year-old an illegal alien from Mexico has been sentenced following his conviction of harboring illegal aliens, using a firearm during a crime of violence, illegal re-entry and being an alien in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. J. Matias Picazo-Lucas pleaded guilty March 7, 2018.

Today, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison handed Picazo-Lucas a total 96-month sentence. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following the sentence

On Aug. 3, 2017, an individual contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to report that a person had been smuggled into the United States and was being held against his will in Houston. That person advised that the unknown smugglers were demanding money in return for the release of the alien.

An undercover agent called the smuggler and arranged to meet him at a grocery store on Bellaire Boulevard to conduct a buyout of the relative. Law enforcement was on the scene when Picazo-Lucas arrived with two aliens who were being held. The agent and Picazo-Lucas discussed the payment, after which time authorities took Picazo-Lucas into custody. At the time of his arrest, he was found to be carrying a loaded .38 caliber pistol.

The two aliens were here illegally from Guatemala and indicated Picazo-Lucas and another individual, subsequently identified as Omar Picazo-Torres, had transported them to Houston in a tractor-trailer. Picazo-Lucas and Picazo-Torres held the hostages at gunpoint in order to intimidate them and prevent their escape.

The conspirators made phone calls to the person who had reported the kidnapping and other friends and family members of the hostages demanding payment for the release of the hostages.

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

Mexican National Omar Picazo-Lucas, 20, remains a fugitive and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact HSI at 866-DHS-2-ICE.

HSI, Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas Davis and Kevin Lear are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated June 28, 2018