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Press Release

Laredo woman admits to smuggling minor across US border

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 27-year-old resident of Laredo has entered a guilty plea to federal charges stemming from her attempt to smuggle a Mexican national minor, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

On July 13, Rosa Elia Amaya applied for admission into the country from Mexico at the Lincoln Juarez Port of Entry accompanied by a minor male and her U.S. citizen daughter. She claimed to be the boy’s mother and presented authorities with a birth certificate as proof of citizenship.

Upon questioning, the minor boy remained silent as authorities asked for the location of his mother. The investigation subsequently confirmed the unaccompanied minor was not Amaya’s son.

Today, she admitted she had agreed to smuggle him into the U.S. in return for $1,500.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose a sentencing at a later date. At that time, Amaya faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. She was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Petters is prosecuting the case.  

Updated September 30, 2019

Human Smuggling