Cuban smuggler hid migrants in rotten produce

by: Sandra Sanchez
Posted: Feb 16, 2024 / 05:55 PM CST
Updated: Feb 16, 2024 / 05:55 PM CST


McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — A Cuban man has been convicted of trying to traffic undocumented migrants through a South Texas checkpoint inside a truck full of rotten produce, U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani said.

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A federal jury in Corpus Christi this week found Illeysel Carcasses, 38, guilty of transporting illegal aliens within the United States, Hamdani said.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before convicting Carcasses after a two-day trial.

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Officials say Carcasses drove a refrigerated box truck to the Border Patrol checkpoint in Sarita, Texas, where a canine unit alerted agents who told him to pull to secondary inspection.

Inside the truck authorities found five migrants concealed inside the back of the vehicle hidden among pallets of rotten produce.

During the trial, officials testified the individuals were locked inside with no way of escaping.

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Carcasses told checkpoint agents he did not have keys to open the rear of the vehicle. But officials say they found the keys in the truck’s cab. His cellphone also was found with the individuals loaded inside the vehicle, Hamdani said.

U.S. District Judge David Morales set his sentencing for May 8. Carcasses faces up to five years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines.

Carcasses was permitted to remain free on bond pending his sentencing.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at