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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Jury Convicts South Texas Man for Transporting Illegal Undocumented Chinese Nationals Among Others

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A federal jury has convicted a 49-year-old legal permanent resident from Donna for knowingly and intentionally conspiring to unlawfully transporting undocumented illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour before convicting Federico Espinosa-Flores following a two-day trial.

During trial the jury heard that on Dec. 21, 2018, authorities arrested Federico Espinosa-Flores at the Border Patrol Checkpoint in Sarita.

At approximately 7:40 A.M., Espinosa-Flores drove a white Ford cargo van disguised as an adult daycare business and entered the primary inspection lane. At that time, authorities noticed him exhibiting signs of nervousness, such as avoiding eye contact and having trembling hands. Espinosa-Flores consented to a search of which resulted in the discovery of 10 undocumented aliens in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. Six were Chinese nationals. Two others were from

The defense attempted to convince the jury that authorities coached him on what to say in his recorded and detailed confession. They did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.

Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey presided over the trial and set sentencing for Dec. 16, 2019. At that time, Espinosa-Flores faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum $250,000 possible fine.

Previously released on bond, Espinosa-Flores was taken into custody following the verdict today where he will remain pending his sentencing.  

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neel Kapur is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Human Smuggling
Component(s): 
Updated September 11, 2019