Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Smuggling 53 Aliens in Tractor Trailer
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Mexican National on a visitor visa has entered a guilty plea to attempting to smuggle illegal aliens behind a load of produce, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
A federal grand jury returned the indictment against Luis Valero-Carrizales, 39, Feb. 28, 2018. Today, he pleaded guilty as charged.
Valero-Carrizales admitted he conspired to transport illegal aliens hidden behind a load of produce in the trailer portion of the 18-wheeler he was driving. On Dec. 16, 2017, Valero-Carrizales drove a freightliner and approached the primary inspection lane at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint near Falfurrias. During a routine immigration inspection, a service canine alerted to the trailer.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, authorities discovered 53 illegal aliens hidden inside. The temperature inside the refrigerated trailer was 54 degrees.
He was taken into custody at that time where he remains pending his sentencing hearing, set for Aug. 2, 2018. At that time, he faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the U.S. Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Miller is prosecuting the case.