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Press Release

Transporting over 100 undocumented aliens lands Texan in prison

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 46-year-old Dallas resident has been ordered to federal prison for conspiracy to transport 126 undocumented aliens, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery. 

Jose Luis Ramos Jr. pleaded guilty March 15.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered Ramos to serve a 80-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional information including his prior involvement with the smuggling organization, details of the dangerous and reckless nature of the transportation and the number of aliens he attempted to transport. In handing down the sentence, Judge Marmolejo also noted his extensive criminal history and that he was not a minor participant in the conspiracy.

On Jan. 6, Ramos drove a tractor-trailer from Laredo and stopped at a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint when a service K-9 alerted to the vehicle. Ramos ignored instruction and exited the inspection area, but authorities soon caught and escorted him back to the checkpoint.

A physical inspection revealed a total of 126 individuals inside the trailer, including one unaccompanied minor, from various countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador and El Salvador. Ramos admitted he was hired to drive the tractor trailer from Laredo to San Antonio. During the inspection of the trailer, authorities discovered that the aliens were kept in the sealed trailer with the temperature of 50.7 degrees.

Ramos has been and will remain in custody 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 assistance from BP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Yoona Lim is prosecuting the case.

Updated September 7, 2021

Human Smuggling