U.S. Customs and Border Protection, November 13, 2019
“We continue to see an increase in alien smuggling cases,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “It’s become a common trend for smuggling organizations to employ individuals with extensive criminal histories as their load drivers.”
Agents assigned to the Carrizo Springs Station encountered a group of four while performing line watch operations on Highway 277. An immigration inspection determined that three of the four individuals were illegally present in the United States. The fourth, Daniel Cardenas Jr., a U.S. citizen from Elmendorf, was suspected to be the smuggler for the failed attempt. During processing, at the station, it was discovered that Cardenas had an extensive criminal history. The illegal aliens – an adult male from Mexico, and a mother and her 12-year-old daughter, from Honduras, were taken into custody.
Additionally, agents from the Carrizo Springs Station responded to a call for assistance from Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office. Responding agents arrived and conducted an immigration inspection on the occupants of a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu, which indicated a failed smuggling attempt. The driver and passenger, Fernando and Hector Serna, U.S. citizen brothers from San Antonio, were arrested on suspicion of alien smuggling. Four adult male illegal aliens from Mexico were taken into custody.
All illegal aliens were processed in accordance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines.
The three suspected smugglers face felony charges under 8 USC 1324, alien smuggling, and if convicted could receive up to 10 years in prison. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.