Last of 13 Pleads Guilty to Alien Smuggling
Laredo, Texas
   
 
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LAREDO, Texas – A 26-year-old El Cenizo man has entered a guilty plea for his role in a conspiracy to smuggle undocumented aliens, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Jose Francisco Morales Jr. is the last of 13 to be convicted in the conspiracy in which illegal aliens were smuggled past Border Patrol checkpoints between September 2015 and June 2017.

 

Previously pleading guilty were the leaders of the organization - Jose Andres Gongoria Jr., 34, Sandra Nelly Chapa-Gongoria, 33, and Carlos Enrique Reyna-Garcia, 29, all of Laredo.

 

Other members of the organization acted as scouts, transporters and stash house operators and had also previously pleaded guilty. Those included Jose Andres Alberto Gongoria Sr., 46, Maria De Lourdes Gongoria, 36, Mario Adalberto Ramirez, 34, Juan Antonio Luna, 47, all of El Cenizo; Jose Garcia III, 36, Abraham Garza, 24, and Guillermo Valdovinos-Rios, 55, all of Laredo; Luis Rodriguez Jr., 19, of Dallas; and Joseph Graves, 25, of Savannah, Georgia.

 

Members of the smuggling organization would drop undocumented aliens off in the brush and then guide them around Border Patrol checkpoints. They would then pick up the aliens once they passed the checkpoints and transport them further north.

 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga accepted the plea today. Sentencing will be set for a later date before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo. At that time, each defendant faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum.

 

Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Alfredo De La Rosa and Special AUSA Andrew Hunt are prosecuting the case.

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