Busted Big Time: Texas Human Smuggling Organization | Immigration Lawyers

According to a March 1, 2012 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (via ICEPress Release, 31 people were formally charged as part of a decade long human smuggling organization.

A federal grand jury returned indictments against 31 Texas residents for their involvement in a conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal aliens. The indictments were announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas, and Robert Rutt, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston.

A sealed indictment was returned Jan. 25, and partially unsealed upon the arrests of the following 12 individuals: Petronilo Sanchez-Jimenez, 42, Norma Leticia Silva-Garcia, aka Norma Sanchez, aka Norma Rocha, 38, and Sandro Alvarez-Maldonado, 35, all of Edinburg, Texas; Armando Olmedo-Trevino, 47, Maria Herrera, 34, John Castillo, 31, Ricky Garibaldi, 46, Oscar Garza-Perales, 28,  all of Wharton, Texas; Donna Simkins, 45, Tracy Howard, 47, Christian Russo, 39, all of Houston; and Cristobal Ochoa, 48, of Falfurrias, Texas.

On Feb. 22, the indictment was superceded and unsealed upon the arrest of the following additional 19  defendants: Rosalinda Carbajal, 49, of Wharton; Alberto Ramon Castellano, 37, Veronica Rodriguez-Salinas, 27, Andrew Joseph Rodriguez, 21, all of Falfurrias, Texas; Jeenifer Ledesma, 21, Veronica Gallegos, 32, Alejandro Martinez, 30, Darrell Chatmon, 21, Marixsa Sermeno, 29, Mayra Patino, 24, Priscilla Arispe, 22, Miriam Suarez, 20, all of Houston, Texas; Krystal Montana, 24, of Conroe, Texas; Mary Jane Hane, 59, Tina  Beridon, 41, both of Huffman, Texas; Heather Redmond, 20, of Sugarland, Texas; Angie Enriquez aka Angie Luevano, 29, of Texas City, Texas; Chastinique Kemp, 21, of Missouri City, Texas; and Ashli Urbina, 23, of Galveston, Texas.

The indictment remains sealed regarding  individuals charged, but not yet in custody.

The indictment alleges the  defendants engaged in a conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens in buildings and  other places and to transport illegal aliens by means of a motor vehicle from  Aug. 9, 2002 to Jan. 31, 2012. The  following five defendants have already entered guilty pleas for the conspiracy and will be sentenced on May 3: Herrera, Silva-Garcia, Sanchez-Jimenez, Simkins and Garibaldi. A notice of forfeiture has been entered for about $83,000, along with two residences, which have been seized as part of the overall investigation.

This case is being tried in Corpus Christi before Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack. The conspiracy charge carries up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine upon conviction. Garza-Perales, a citizen of Mexico, was separately indicted for illegally  re-entering the United States after having been previously  deported. If convicted of that offense, he faces an additional prison term of up to 20 years, a maximum $250,000 fine and removal from the United States after he completes his sentence.

The indictment and arrests are  the result of an on-going investigation by HSI in cooperation with the U.S.  Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad W. Cowan and Jeffrey D. Preston, Southern District of Texas, are prosecuting  this case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal  conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Miller|Conway, Charleston Immigration Lawyers located in Goose Creek, South Carolina help clients with removal, deportation, visas, adjustment of status and asylum. Miller|Conway, Goose Creek Lawyers, are here for you, your loved ones and/or your business as IMMIGRATION RESCUE COUNSEL when an emergency strikes. Our attorneys have experience reopening seemingly hopeless cases involving removal and deportation in an effort to halt removal/deportation and allow our clients to remain in the United States.

You may also visit Miller|Conway on the firm’s website, immigration/inmigracion pages, via twitter and facebook.

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