Jury Convicts Los Fresnos Woman of Alien Smuggling
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 41-year-old resident of Los Fresnos has been convicted of transporting illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before convicting Dianna Garza of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and two counts of transporting illegal aliens following a two-day trial.
During the trial, the jury heard testimony that on Aug. 22, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol (BP) agents observed a vehicle parked on the side of Highway 77 just north of the Sarita Border Patrol checkpoint. The agents then observed multiple subjects running out of the brush towards the parked vehicle. After the vehicle started moving, agents conducted a traffic stop, at which time two undocumented aliens fled but were apprehended in the brush. The aliens admitted to paying smugglers to avoid detection while traveling from Matamoros, Mexico, to Houston.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos presided over the trial and set sentencing for Jan. 30, 2019. At that time, Garza faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine.
She has been and will remain in in custody pending that hearing.
Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Hess and Reid Manning are prosecuting the case.