By Gabriel Monte / A-J Media
Posted Nov 9, 2018 at 4:42 PM
Updated Nov 9, 2018 at 4:42 PM

A 39-year-old man from Mexico was sentenced Friday in a Lubbock federal court to two years in prison for transporting within the country people who entered the U.S. illegally.

U.S. Senior District Judge Sam Cummings handed down a 24-month prison sentence to Fermin Herrera-Angeles, who pleaded guilty in July to a federal count of transportation of illegal aliens for private financial gain, according to court records.

Herrera-Angeles’ case stemmed from a May 25 traffic stop in Floydada. A Texas state trooper there stopped for speeding a Chrysler Town and Country minivan with Pennsylvania license plates. However, the trooper called U.S. Border Patrol agents when the driver, later identified as Herrera-Angeles, did not have any legal identification forms, according to a criminal complaint.

Border patrol agents determined Herrera-Angeles and his nine passengers were in the country illegally and called Homeland Security investigators.

Investigators identified the passengers as two Honduran citizens, five Guatemalan citizens, one Mexican citizen and one citizen of El Salvador.

Herrera-Angeles admitted to investigators he knew his passengers entered the country illegally and he admitted to accepting money from their families to drive them to cities in multiple states including Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the complaint states.

The complaint does not say from where Herrera-Angeles fetched his passengers.

One of the Honduran citizens, whose final destination was Seattle, told investigators her relatives paid several thousands dollars for her to be smuggled into the country. One of the Guatemalan citizens said he was headed to Dallas and paid $10,000 to be smuggled into the country. The man from Mexico told investigators his father paid $5,000 to have him smuggled into the country and taken to Mesa, Arizona.

The passengers were taken to the Lubbock Border Patrol Station for processing, the documents state. Two of the passengers were detained as material witnesses against Herrera-Angeles.