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Press Release

South Texas woman sent to prison for human smuggling while on bond

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 23-year-old Edinburg woman has been sentenced to federal prison for multiple conspiracies of transporting illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Today, U.S. District Judge David S. Morales ordered Joceline Esmeralda Garcia to serve a total of 51 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard how Garcia recruited, facilitated or directed more than five individuals to transport undocumented aliens, often in the enclosed trunks of vehicles. In one instance, humans had been concealed within wooden furniture in a U-Haul van. 

Garcia had pleaded April 17, 2019, to an alien smuggling conspiracy involving seven smuggling events and 18 undocumented aliens. While on bond pending sentencing in that case, Garcia continued to lead a subsequent alien smuggling conspiracy involving three human smuggling events and eight additional undocumented aliens.

Garcia has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Manning is prosecuting the case.

Updated September 8, 2020

Human Smuggling