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Press Release

Laredoan sent to prison for transporting 71 aliens

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 35-year-old resident of Laredo has been ordered to federal prison after he admitted to conspiring to transport aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

John Bryan Meredith pleaded guilty Oct. 4, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia-Marmolejo handed him an 84-month sentence. He had been on supervised release for two prior cases and was further ordered to serve four more years on each. The total 92-month sentence will be followed by another three years of supervised release.

On July 8, Meredith drove a tractor-trailer to the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Highway 83 near Laredo. Soon after, a K-9 alerted to the presence of concealed humans and/or narcotics within the trailer. At secondary inspection, the K-9 alerted again.

Authorities then removed a seal and opened the rear doors of the trailer which revealed several people, all determined to be in the United States illegally. Those included a total of 71 subjects - 36 Mexicans, 21 Guatemalans, six  Salvadorans, five Hondurans and three Brazilians - two of whom were unaccompanied juveniles. In addition, law enforcement also recovered a total of $7,300 hidden inside the gearshift box as well as eight additional seals and seven cellular telephones in the sleeper area of the truck.

Meredith claimed a friend had asked him to drive a tractor-trailer with a load of transmissions to Uvalde, where another driver would meet him. Meredith also stated his friend had already placed the seal on the trailer by the time he arrived.

However, further investigation revealed Meredith had bought the tractor himself and rented the trailer. The investigation revealed he had driven the same tractor and trailer past the Highway 83 checkpoint seven times between May 21 and July 8.

Updated February 25, 2020

Human Smuggling