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Press Release

Truck driver gets significant sentence for human smuggling

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 28 year-old San Benito resident has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions for transporting illegal aliens with his tractor trailer, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Rene Garcia pleaded guilty Aug. 5, 2021.

Today, U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton sentenced Garcia to a total of 41 months in prison to be immediately followed by three years of term of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Tipton took into consideration the nature and facts of the case and noted Garcia had recently been convicted of transporting illegal aliens.

On May 13, 2021, Garcia arrived at the Falfurrias Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint driving a semi-truck and trailer. A K-9 alerted to the vehicle which prompted authorities to refer him to secondary inspection.

Ultimately, authorities found 51 undocumented individuals in the trailer, hidden among pallets of onions. At least one of them reported that it was hard to breathe and there was no way to escape in the event of an emergency.

Garcia later admitted to making arrangements with someone in San Benito to smuggle the aliens through the Falfurrias checkpoint and onto Houston.

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

Homeland Security Investigations and BP conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Overman prosecuted the case.

Updated January 26, 2022

Human Smuggling