Military Men Charged with Human Smuggling
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two active duty Army soldiers have been charged with smuggling two illegal aliens through a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Marco Antonio Nava Jr., 19, and Joseph Edmond Cleveland, 25, both of El Paso, made their appearances today before U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington.
The indictment charges both men with one count of conspiring to transport aliens and one count of transporting an alien.
The indictment alleges Nava and Cleveland smuggled two Illegal aliens through the BP checkpoint in Falfurrias on June 19, 2016. On that date, at approximately 4:00 p.m., Nava drove a vehicle to the checkpoint with Cleveland as his passenger. A BP agent conducted an immigration inspection on the vehicle, at which time the agent discovered two additional passengers in the back. A brief investigation revealed those individuals were illegal aliens.
If convicted, Nava and Cleveland face up to 10 years in federal prison.
HSI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Miller is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.