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Press Release

Woman admits to smuggling minors

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 22-year-old resident of Toledo, Ohio, has pleaded guilty to transporting an undocumented alien, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

On Jan. 29, Maria Aguilar arrived at the Hidalgo port of entry with three minors in her vehicle. At that time, she claimed they were her relatives and presented Ohio birth certificates.

Law enforcement noticed the children appeared nervous and ultimately discovered the birth certificates were for other people.

Aguilar admitted the minors were not relatives, but undocumented aliens, and expected to be paid $4,700 to smuggle the minors into the United States.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa will impose sentencing Aug. 17. At that time, Aguilar faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

She was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Parran III prosecuted the case.

Updated May 15, 2023

Human Smuggling