Police arrest driver, detain 4 Romanian citizens in Sullivan City

March 31, 2020 1:57 PM in News - Local

The Sullivan City Police Department arrested a Rio Grande City man and detained four Romanian citizens on Monday.

At about 4:30 p.m., a police officer stopped a white 2004 Nissan Maxima on U.S. 83 near Farm-to-Market Road 886.

The driver, 47-year-old Gilberto Luera Jr. of Rio Grande City, had four passengers in the Nissan.

"Mr. Luera advised that he was just giving them a ride," according to the criminal complaint against him.

The police officer asked the passengers for identification. They provided documents from Romania.

Sullivan City contacted Border Patrol, which determined the passengers were citizens of Romania who had illegally crossed the border.

"While being questioned Mr. Luera confessed that he was in fact smuggling and was going to benefit $200 dollars per subject transported to the McAllen area," according to the criminal complaint.

Luera is charged with smuggling of persons, a third-degree felony.

Court records don't list an attorney for Luera, who couldn't be reached for comment.