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Press Release

Jury Convicts Man of Transporting Aliens

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

LAREDO, Texas – A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts against a 43-year-old man for his involvement in a conspiracy involving the transportation of illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

The jury deliberated for less than four hours following a  three-day trial before convicting Anthony Terrele McCalebb, of Meridian, Mississippi, of conspiracy to transport and two counts of transporting undocumented aliens for financial gain.

On March 11, 2019, McCalebb and McKinley Lavell Young, 54, also of Meridian, Mississippi, loaded 10 undocumented aliens into the sleeper compartment of their tractor-trailer in Laredo. They then attempted to smuggle them through the Freer Checkpoint on Highway 59.

Upon arrival, a Border Patrol (BP) canine alerted to the vehicle Young was driving.

During trial, the jury heard that authorities had found McCalebb and the aliens hiding in the sleeper compartment of the trailer. The 10 illegal aliens were sitting on two bunk beds which were covered with blankets.

McCalebb and Young had agreed to transport the aliens to San Antonio in return for $10,000. Law enforcement recovered $5,400 of those proceeds upon their arrest. They had expected the remainder upon delivery.

Young pleaded guilty July 29, 2019, and testified at trial. He explained how  McCalebb recruited him to smuggle aliens through Laredo. He confirmed he and McCalebb picked up undocumented aliens and attempted to transport them through the checkpoint and abut being paid to do so.

Two of the smuggled aliens - both women - told the jury about their journey from Brazil to Texas. They testified about being smuggled into the United States across the Rio Grande River on an inflatable raft, staying in a stash house in Laredo and being transported in the sleeper compartment of the McKinley’s truck.

The defense attempted to convince the jury that Young and the alien witnesses were lying to secure benefits from the government and that McCalebb was merely present but not guilty of actually transporting illegal aliens. They did not believe his claims and found McKinley guilty as charged.  

Sentencing will be set for a later date. At that time, McKinley faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

McKinley and Young both remain in custody pending sentencing.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation along with Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony J. Evans and Francisco Rodriguez are prosecuting the case.

Updated July 31, 2019