Jury Convicts Houston Man in Alien Smuggling Conspiracy
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A federal jury in Corpus Christi has returned a guilty verdict against a Houston man on one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens following a two-day trial, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury deliberated for only 45 minutes before ultimately convicting Eduardo Luis Pompa, 26.
During the trial, which involved the testimony of 15 government witnesses, evidence established that Pompa served as a scout for an alien smuggling organization. In that role, he would drive ahead of or behind vehicles transporting illegal aliens to look for law enforcement. Pompa served in this capacity from early 2014 until July 14, 2014, when he was arrested with nine other conspirators transporting 57 aliens to Houston. Pompa and two others served as scouts, two served as brush guides and the remaining five transported the 57 aliens in vehicles. Pompa and other conspirators picked up the illegal aliens just north of the Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias and were arrested near Mathis.
Additionally, evidence also established that this criminal organization transported multiple loads of illegal aliens on a weekly and even daily basis. On one occasion - April 23, 2014 - a load driver for the organization was arrested transporting five illegal aliens near Premont. That driver attempted to flee, traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour and finally crashing into a tree, causing serious bodily injuries to the aliens. The evidence established that Pompa was working as a scout that same day, but for another load of transported aliens.
The boss of the alien smuggling organization, Homero Gonzalez-Carranza, 30, also of Houston, pleaded guilty April 27, 2015. Gonzalez-Carranza oversaw the transportation of illegal aliens from the Rio Grande Valley to Houston. Illegal aliens would be harbored at stash houses in Houston until ultimately being transported to their final destinations within the United States. He is set for sentencing July 14, 2015.
Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head has set Pompa’s sentencing for Aug. 18, 2015, at which time he faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol as part of the South Texas Campaign. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad W. Cowan is prosecuting the case.