Mexican National Sentenced for Smuggling 53 Aliens in Tractor Trailer
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Mexican National who was on a visitor visa has been ordered to federal prison for attempting to smuggle illegal aliens behind a load of produce, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Luis Valero-Carrizales, 39, pleaded guilty April 4, 2018.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos handed Valero-Carrizales a 30-month sentence. Not a U.S. citizen, Valero-Carrizales is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.
At the time of his plea, 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 transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
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.