Women Charged with Transporting Four Mexican National Minors
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
LAREDO, Texas – Two women are set to appear in federal court on allegations they transported four unaccompanied minors in the country, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Olga Patricia Reyes, 30, from Laredo but resides in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Leslie Chavira, 25, of Laredo, will appear for a preliminary examination and detention hearing today at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Guillermo R. Garcia.
Both women are charged with transporting four unaccompanied minor children who are all citizens of Mexico.
On the evening of Dec. 20, 2017, Reyes applied for admission into the United States from Mexico at the Laredo Port of Entry accompanied by a minor child, according to the criminal complaint. She first claimed the child was a relative and allegedly presented a birth certificate as proof of citizenship. However, the investigation revealed she did not actually know the child.
The charges allege Reyes had previously used birth certificates to successfully smuggle three additional unaccompanied minor children into the United States from Mexico. Those children were ultimately found at Chavira’s Laredo residence, according to the charges.
“We applaud the excellent work of our frontline officers in uncovering the initial immigration violation and the spirit of teamwork between law enforcement that led to a positive outcome and location of three minor alien children,” said Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - Laredo Field Office Director David P. Higgerson.
“Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) works closely with its law enforcement partners in pursuit of identifying, arresting and bringing to justice those individuals suspected of human smuggling,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden. “We will continue to utilize our broad authorities to target those believed to engage in such practices and place personal profit ahead of public safety.”
If convicted, both women face up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol and the Laredo Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julian Castaneda 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.
Updated December 28, 2017