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Press Release

RGV Man Sent to Prison for Harboring Aliens

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

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 22-year-old Edinburg man has been ordered to prison following his conviction of harboring aliens within the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Maximino Moralez-Quiroz pleaded guilty in December 2018.  

Today, U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. ordered him to serve 48 months in prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.  

At the hearing, additional evidence was presented that demonstrated Moralez-Quiroz had been previously involved in five other alien smuggling incidents dating back to late 2013, one of which included a conviction for transporting aliens in 2015 for which he served a 15-month sentence. After serving that term, he was on supervised release. As part of the sentence today, the court revoked that term, ordered he serve six more months in prison, three of which was ordered to run consecutively for a total 51-month-term of imprisonment.

On Nov. 14, 2018, law enforcement learned of the possibility that undocumented aliens were being harbored within a residence in Edinburg. They approached the house and discovered Moralez-Quiroz who identified himself as the homeowner.

A search of the house led to the discovery of 27 undocumented aliens.

The aliens were all from different countries and relayed that the smugglers had charged them up to $9,000 for illegal entry into the U.S. Some had spent up to eight days awaiting transport. 

Moralez-Quiroz has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Rio Grande Valley Special Operations Detachment Intelligence Section and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Oscar Ponce is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 30, 2019

Human Smuggling