McALLEN, Texas – Federal agents executed a search warrant and two arrest warrants in Mission yesterday in an alien smuggling investigation, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, federal agents executed a search warrant at a residence on the 6800 block of Bagley Drive in Mission. During the search, agents arrested Jose Antonio Landin-Ortiz, 26, and Jose Alfredo Ortiz-Vega, 45, both Mexican citizens illegally residing in Mission. They are set to make initial appearances before a U.S. Magistrate judge this morning.
According to the complaint, on March 4, 2016, Border Patrol agents at the Falfurrias checkpoint found two illegal aliens hidden within the air dam of a tractor trailer that was approaching the primary inspection area. They were arrested for being in the United States unlawfully. At that time, they identified Ortiz and Landin as the individuals involved in their smuggling. Ortiz allegedly provided the illegal aliens with a cell phone to use to communicate with him. The complaint further alleges that Ortiz also took them to a truck stop and instructed both to climb into the air dam on the tractor trailer. Landin helped Ortiz with the smuggling arrangements and the aliens stayed at Landin’s house while they were waiting to be smuggled north, according to the allegations.
If convicted, both Landin and Ortiz face up to 10 years imprisonment and possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The arrests are the result of a joint investigation between Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol. Hidalgo County Precinct Four deputy constables assisted in the search of the residence and arrests. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Leonard 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.