Three Men Charged With Alien Smuggling
HOUSTON – Federal charges have been filed against three Mexican nationals who were allegedly holding five illegal aliens at a residence in Splendora, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
A federal criminal complaint was filed this morning against Luis Cesar Avalos-Hernandez, 32, Alvaro Cruz-Suarez, 27, and Giovanni Arrelola-Villalobos, 21, all of Mexico. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. All are charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens within the United States.
On April 19, 2017, agents responded to the 2700 block of FM 2090 in Splendora and discovered eight individuals at the residence. Three claimed to reside there, while five others were found inside a back bedroom without access to their shoes, according to the charges.
Two of the aliens claimed to have been walking through the brush in Texas near the Mexican border for several days before being picked up in a white pickup truck, according the complaint. Cruz-Suarez allegedly drove that vehicle with Avalos-Hernandez as passenger. The charges further indicate that Cruz-Suarez, Avalos-Hernandez and Arrelola-Villalobos all guarded the aliens at the Splendora residence. Avalos-Hernandez allegedly took their shoes, while Arrelola-Villalobos confiscated a cell phone and threatened at least one alien with a rifle, according to the charges.
The criminal complaint alleges all eight were citizens and nationals of Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, all of whom were illegally present in the United States. They were administratively arrested and transported to the Houston Immigration Service Processing Center for additional checks and further investigation.
At the time of the arrests, authorities seized three firearms, a stolen rifle, miscellaneous documents and a ledger of names, dollar amounts and locations. A white pickup truck was also found at the residence which authorities determined was reported stolen in October 2016.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations is conducting the investigation along with the Splendora Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Davis is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.