Guillermo Contreras, San-Antonio Express-News, Apr. 25
A federal jury in El Paso on Monday convicted a former Border Patrol agent on charges of smuggling undocumented immigrants, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said in a news release.
The jury found Noe Aleman Jr. guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of alien smuggling. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $750,000 when he’s sentenced July 26 by U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone, the news release said.
The release said that, from Jan. 5, 2004 to June 15, 2004, Aleman attempted to adopt three teenage girls from Mexico, ages 14, 16 and 18, in order to circumvent age limits of U.S. immigration and legal adoption policies.
According to trial testimony, Aleman provided false testimony to an adoption court in order to obtain crossing cards for the girls. The orders allowed the teens to legally enter the United States on March 12, 2004, to attend court hearings, but prohibited them from staying past that day.
Jurors found that Aleman knowingly violated the orders, keeping them in this country beyond March 12, 2004, and that he provided false information to the government and the adoption court regarding the girls’ ages, whereabouts and parentage.
“Mr. Aleman’s job was to protect the U.S. border from illegal immigration,” Sutton said in the release. “Instead of enforcing immigration laws, he violated the very laws he swore to uphold through fraud and deceit. Today, he learned no one is above the law.”