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Press Release

LPR Heads to Prison for Hiding Illegal Aliens in Furniture in Attempt to Circumvent Checkpoint

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 23-year-old legal permanent resident of Katy has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of transporting illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Yabar Ayan Portes-Arevalo pleaded guilty Feb. 18, 2019.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey handed Portes-Arevalo a 21-month sentence. He could also lose his resident status in the United States. At the hearing, the court found he endangered the lives of the illegal aliens.

On Dec. 10, 2018, Portes-Arevalo approached the primary inspection lane of the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint near Sarita. He was driving a Ford F-150 pickup with a couch and dresser loaded in the bed of the truck wrapped in plastic. During a routine inspection, Portes-Arevalo became visibly nervous, at which time BP conducted an x-ray examination of the vehicle which showed abnormalities inside the furniture. 

BP agents removed the plastic and discovered three undocumented aliens hidden in the couch and three more inside the dresser. The dresser had been nailed shut. 

Portes-Arevalo is in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

BP conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cody Barnes is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 21, 2019