Tractor Trailer Driver, Aron Bernard Griffin Charged with Human Smuggling
Forty-One Undocumented Noncitizens Detained
SAN ANTONIO (STL.News) A Dallas man was arrested last night in San Antonio on federal criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in smuggling a large group of undocumented noncitizens.
According to the criminal complaint filed today, 49-year-old Aron Bernard Griffin was arrested after several concerned community members called 911 to report seeing multiple individuals inside the back of a tractor trailer that Griffin was driving. The tractor trailer was located at a gas station on Interstate Highway 10 East in San Antonio. Forty-one undocumented noncitizens were found at the scene and were detained by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents.
Griffin admitted to Agents that he had made an agreement with another person to pick up the undocumented individuals in Laredo and transport them to San Antonio in return for financial gain.
Griffin is charged by criminal complaint with one count of violating Title 8, Section 1324, smuggling of undocumented noncitizens. If convicted, Griffin faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. If convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Griffin is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth S. Chestney today for an initial appearance.
U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas and HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee made the announcement.
HSI is investigating this case with the assistance of the San Antonio Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daphne Newaz is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.