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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Federal Grand Jury In Del Rio Indicts Carrizo Springs Pair In Smuggling Scheme Involving Serious Bodily Injury

In Del Rio, a federal grand jury has indicted two Carrizo Springs, TX, residents for their roles in an undocumented immigrant smuggling scheme in which the victims suffered serious bodily injury announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala, San Antonio Division.
The seven–count indictment, returned yesterday, alleges that between May 1, 2014 and May 4, 2014, the defendants, 32–year-old Atanacio Daniel Castro and 22–year-old Eduardo Rocha, Jr., of Carrizo Springs, TX,
knowingly conspired to transport and harbor undocumented aliens and while doing so, caused serious bodily injury to those individuals. The indictment further charges that the defendants threatened to kill, injure or further detain individuals whom they held hostage, in order to compel others to pay ransom money for their release.
According to court records, Castro allegedly struck the hands of two adult male hostages with a hammer and demanded additional payment while the victims were on the phone with family members discussing payment of smuggling fees. Court records also allege that Castro, on multiple occasions, sexually assaulted a smuggled female undocumented alien.
Upon conviction, the defendants face up to life in federal prison for conspiracy to commit hostage taking. Each remaining charge calls for up to 20 years in federal prison upon conviction. Both defendants remain in federal custody pending trial. No trial date has been scheduled.
This indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by HSI agents together with the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew H. Watters and Patrick Burke are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated December 15, 2014