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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

Monday, June 4, 2018

Mexican and Honduran Men Pled Guilty to Smuggling and Transporting Fourteen Illegal Aliens in Derby, Vermont

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that two persons have pled guilty to the smuggling and transporting of fourteen illegal aliens who traveled on foot from Quebec to Derby, Vermont in October 2017. The two defendants are Alberto Alvarado-Castro, 30, a Mexican citizen, and Hector Perez-Alvarado, 25, a Honduras citizen.

Alberto Alvarado-Castro pled guilty to smuggling aliens for financial gain, which carries a three-year mandatory minimum sentence and a ten-year maximum sentence. The parties agreed that Alvardo-Castro’s sentence should be three years, which is still subject to the Court’s approval. Hector Perez-Alvarado pled guilty to transporting aliens for financial gain, which carries a ten-year maximum sentence. The parties have not agreed to a specific sentence for Perez-Alvarado. United States Chief Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford will conduct both sentencings, which are currently scheduled for September 27, 2018 in Rutland. Both defendants are detained and in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to the complaint affidavit and the statements made at the recent hearings, late in the evening of October 7, 2017, Alberto Alvarado-Castro guided the fourteen aliens through the woods on the border to a van parked in Derby, which was driven by Hector Perez-Alvarado. In multiple trips, Perez-Alvardo drove the aliens to a motel in Derby, where, on the last trip, they were all apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol. Eleven of the smuggled illegal aliens were Guatemala citizens and three were Mexican citizens. The Government alleges that Alvarado-Castro has multiple prior felony burglary convictions in the United States.

This matter was investigated by the United States Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations. “This case serves as an excellent example of the dedication and hard work put forth by Border Patrol agents to keep our country and communities safe,” said U.S. Border Patrol Swanton Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia. “Our agents did an outstanding job thwarting this smuggling attempt and the U.S. Attorney's Office did an excellent job prosecuting it.”

The Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting this matter is Joe Perella. Elizabeth Quinn, Esq., of the Federal Public Defender’s Office represents Perez-Alvarado. David Watts, Esq., of Burlington represents Alvarado-Castro. Robert Sussman, Esq., of Burlington represents Perez-Ramirez.

Human Smuggling
Updated June 4, 2018