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25 arrested in round up centered on alien smuggling operation
San Antonio, TX, Juy 30 – Federal, state and local authorities arrested 23 individuals indicted for their role in an undocumented alien smuggling scheme operating in Eagle Pass, Crystal City, Carrizo Springs, Uvalde, San Antonio, Laredo, Dallas and surrounding areas in Texas. Authorities also arrested two other individuals on related federal drug charges.
Two federal grand jury indictments returned last week in Del Rio, charge all but two of the defendants with conspiracy to commit alien smuggling. The indictments allege that from January 2014 to October 2014, ringleader Jaime Jaramillo-Hernandez and others were involved in related conspiracies to smuggle, transport and harbor hundreds of undocumented aliens from Laredo to San Antonio and Dallas. Defendants Omar Carrillo and Edward Mello are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and one substantive count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. According to the indictment, Carrillo and Mello conspired between January 2014 and September 2014 to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.
Upon conviction of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling, defendants face up to ten years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Carrillo and Mello face between five and 40 years in federal prison upon conviction. During this two-year-long investigation, authorities have arrested over 400 individuals and seized approximately $187,000 in U.S. currency, three firearms, and 19 vehicles.
“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, regardless of their position,” said James Spero, Special Agent in Charge, HSI San Antonio. “Today’s arrests exemplify the high level of collaboration between HSI and its partners in investigating these cases.”
This investigation was conducted by agents with HSI in Eagle Pass, United States Border Patrol Del Rio and Laredo Sectors and the Drug Enforcement Administration.