EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Authorities allegedly watched as Octavio Ramirez escorted undocumented immigrants into the back of a tractor-trailer in an industrial area of Laredo, Texas.
Ramirez is one of four people indicted on charges of conspiracy to transport 61 undocumented immigrants, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick announced this week.
A federal grand jury indicted Ramirez, 27, a U.S. citizen who lives in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; Juan Antonio Carranco Jr., 26, of Laredo; Alina Rodriguez, 20, of Laredo; and San Juana Guadalupe Juarez-Flores, 39, a Mexican national who lives in Laredo. All four were originally charged via a criminal complaint.
On Oct. 23, law enforcement set up surveillance at the intersection of North Smith Avenue and Green Street in Laredo, according to the complaint. Authorities allegedly witnessed Ramirez arrive at the location and either direct or escort aliens into the back of a nearby parked tractor-trailer multiple times.
Throughout the evening, according to a news release, Carranco, Juarez-Flores, and Rodriguez arrived at the location in their vehicles, dropped off individuals, and then left the scene.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations led the investigation with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol, FBI, and the Webb County Constable’s Office.
Officials ultimately apprehended a total of 61 undocumented immigrants from various countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.
The four suspects will appear for their arraignments before a U.S. magistrate judge at a future date. If convicted, each faces up to 10 years in prison as well as a possible $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Bajew is prosecuting the case.