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Press Release

Laredo Jury Convicts Laredo Man of Transporting Undocumented Aliens

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

LAREDO, Texas – A federal jury sitting in Laredo has convicted a local man of conspiracy and transporting undocumented immigrants for private financial gain, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Jose Javier Villafranca, 46, of Laredo, was convicted on all counts as charged after only two hours of deliberation today.

Villanfranca had attempted to smuggle six undocumented immigrants through a United States Border Patrol checkpoint in the tractor trailer that he was operating on July 5, 2015. The undocumented immigrants were discovered when a U.S. Border Patrol canine unit alerted to their presence in the truck’s trailer.

At trial, the jury heard testimony from Border Patrol agents who described the circumstances leading to their discovery of the undocumented Guatemalans and Villafranca’s arrest. Two of the illegal aliens testified at trial detailing how they had been transported to Villafranca’s tractor-trailer where Villafranca instructed them to get inside where they remained until discovered at the checkpoint.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo presided over the trial and has set sentencing for Jan. 6, 2016. At that time, Villafranca faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mike Eaton and Homero Ramirez prosecuted the case.

Updated December 7, 2015

Human Smuggling