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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Illegal Aliens Hidden in Furniture During Attempt to Circumvent Border Patrol Checkpoint

ORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 23-year-old legal permanent resident of Katy has been convicted of transporting illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

On Dec. 10, 2018, Yabar Ayan Portes-Arevalo approached the primary inspection lane of the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint near Sarita. He was driving a Ford F-150 pickup with a couch and dresser loaded in the bed of the truck wrapped in plastic. During a routine inspection, Portes-Arevalo became visibly nervous, at which time BP conducted an x-ray examination of the vehicle which showed abnormalities inside the furniture. 

BP agents removed the plastic and discovered three undocumented aliens hidden in the couch and three more inside the dresser. The dresser had been nailed shut. 

Porters-Arevalo entered a guilty plea today to transporting illegal aliens within the United States. Sentencing has been set for  May 20, 2019, before Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey. At that time, Portes-Arevalo faces up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 maximum possible fine. He could also lose his status as a legal permanent resident.

He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

BP conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cody Barnes is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Human Smuggling
Component(s): 
Updated February 19, 2019