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Press Release

Jury convicts man for smuggling 105 in trailer

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

LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo federal jury has convicted a 32-year-old out-of-state man for conspiring to transport and transporting undocumented aliens within the United States, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

The jury deliberated for less than four hours before convicting Christopher Faust, Sacramento, California, following a two-day trial.

On May 5, law enforcement stopped Faust for a traffic violation, at which time he claimed to be transporting green bananas. However, authorities quickly noticed the temperature on the refrigerated trailer was too high for produce. A K-9 then alerted to an odor emanating from inside the vehicle. Authorities opened the trailer and found 105 undocumented aliens.

The jury heard from a representative of the storage facility who Faust claimed had given him the load. He told the jury they do not ship green bananas and that Faust never picked up a load of produce from their facility.

The defense attempted to convince the jury Faust did not know that the people, all 105 of them, were in his trailer. The jury did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo presided over trial and will set sentencing at a later date. At that time, Faust faces up to 10 years of imprisonment and a possible $250,000  maximum fine.

Faust was permitted to remain on bond pending his that hearing.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety and Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Fawcett and Aaron Petters are prosecuting the case.

Updated August 11, 2021

Human Smuggling