Federal Grand Jury Indicts Watuga, TX, Man in Connection with an Alleged Alien Smuggling Scheme
In San Antonio today, a federal grand jury indicted a Watuga, TX, man for his alleged role in an undocumented alien smuggling conspiracy announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson.
The federal indictment charges 33–year-old Drew Christopher Potter with one count of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling for financial gain and three substantive counts of transportation of undocumented aliens. According to the indictment, Potter conspired to transport undocumented aliens for private financial gain.
On September 18, 2015, Frio County Sheriff’s deputies along with U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Cotulla Border Patrol Station responded to a 911 call from someone who witnessed multiple subjects exiting a semi-tractor-trailer parked at a local convenience store along Interstate 35 South. At the scene, authorities encountered the alleged driver, Potter, and 39 undocumented aliens including 28 adult males, 7 adult females and four minors from Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico.
Potter remains in federal custody. Upon conviction of each count, he faces up to ten years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.
“HSI is dedicated to working closely with its law enforcement partners in all arenas in pursuit of identifying, arresting and prosecuting individuals involved in human smuggling,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson, HSI San Antonio.
This case was investigated by HSI, U.S. Border Patrol and the Frio County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Lathrop is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.