Skip to main content
Press Release

Two out-of-state men charged with transporting dozens in tractor-trailers

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

LAREDO, Texas – Two 41-year-old men have been indicted for conspiracy and illegally transporting more than 70 through a Laredo checkpoint, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

A federal grand jury returned two separate, unrelated but similar indictments against Menietto Lateet Crawford, Memphis, Tennessee, and Denny Fuentes, Miami, Florida, today. Both men are expected to appear for their arraignments next week.

On June 14, Crawford approached the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint north of Laredo, according to the criminal complaint originally filed in the matter. A K-9 allegedly alerted to Crawford’s trailer. Upon further inspection, authorities discovered 80 undocumented aliens in the non-refrigerated trailer that Crawford was hauling, according to the allegations in the complaint.

The following day at the same checkpoint, law enforcement allegedly found another 71 undocumented aliens from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. According to the charges against Fuentes, he had tried to transport the people in a refrigerated trailer claiming he was transporting “pig meat.”

If convicted, each man faces up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 fine.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted both investigations with the assistance of Border Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Homero Ramirez is prosecuting the cases.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Updated July 12, 2022

Human Smuggling