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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced for Transporting Undocumented Noncitizens Near Van Horn

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

ALPINE – Yesterday a Mexican national, Pedro Ramirez-Urbina, 40, was sentenced to 71 months in prison for transporting illegal aliens in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324. Ramirez was identified as the foot guide in charge of leading a group of undocumented noncitizens (UNCs) from Mexico into the United States.

According to court documents, on June 27, 2021, U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Van Horn Border Patrol Station responded to a call from a concerned citizen about a deceased male found on the side of the road. Agents located the decedent along with another male waiting beside the body. Both undocumented noncitizens (UNCs) came from Mexico. About an hour later, another concerned citizen alerted U.S. Border Patrol agents to seven males walking north on Chispa Road near Needle Peak.  They were arrested and transported to Van Horn Border Patrol Station for processing where agents determined all UNCs, including the decedent, were part of a group being smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.

On December 14, 2021, Ramirez was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens and one count of transportation of illegal aliens in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324.  Ramirez has remained in federal custody since his arrest on June 27, 2021.

“Those engaged in the business of human smuggling will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.  “I thank our brave law enforcement partners for their continued vigilance in investigating and apprehending those who violate our laws and smuggle human cargo into the United States with little regard for human life.”

“Danger and risk go hand in hand with human smuggling, and too often it ends in tragedy, as it did in this case,” said Frank B. Burrola, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso. “HSI will continue to aggressively investigate criminal organizations that prey on the vulnerable with no regard for the sanctity of life.”

HSI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Kennedy prosecuted the case.


Updated November 3, 2023

Human Smuggling