CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A federal jury has convicted a 52-year-old resident of Carrizo Springs for attempting to smuggle 30 aliens through the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint located near Falfurrias, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. The jury deliberated for 20 minutes before convicting David Rodriguez Sr. following a two-day trial of conspiring to and transporting illegal aliens.
The illegal aliens were hidden behind a load of produce in the trailer portion of the 18-wheeler Rodriguez was driving. On Dec. 5, 2017, during a routine immigration inspection, a service canine conducted a sniff and alerted to the exterior of the trailer. U.S. Border Patrol agents unlocked the trailer and located 30 aliens hiding behind pallets of limes. The agents noted that the temperature inside the refrigerated trailer was 54 degrees Celsius.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos presided over the trial and set sentencing for Oct. 10, 2018. At that time, Rodriguez Sr. faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, he also faces a three year term of supervised release.
Rodriguez was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Miller prosecuted the case.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Friday, July 13, 2018.