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Thread: Smuggler Sentenced To 5 Years in Prison

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Smuggler Sentenced To 5 Years in Prison

    Posted: Jul 29, 2016 5:22 PM PDT
    Updated: Jul 29, 2016 5:22 PM PDT

    RIO GRANDE CITY – Prosecutors across the Rio Grande Valley are frustrated. Smugglers often go back to committing the same crimes after they've served time. They also extort others into criminal activity, feeding into the cycle of smuggling.

    A smuggler who assaulted U.S. Border Patrol agents will spend five and a half years in prison.

    The difference about this case is that the smuggler was caught, convicted, and will now spend 66 months in prison.

    Marlene Castro with Border Patrol said, “You want to get to the root of the problem and that's the only way, through prosecution...absolutely. Any time we catch a smuggler, whether its narcotics or people, we're going to go after them with the fullest extent of the law.”

    Luis Angel Ramirez-Valdez tried to run over Border Patrol agents near Mission back in February.

    He struck two Border Patrol vehicles and nearly hit a police vehicle during the chase. He was in a stolen truck and 14 people were inside.

    “It's significant if you think about the damage that he did,” said Castro. He said the conviction and prison sentence is a victory.

    Starr County authorities hope for similar results for another man.

    Jose Raul Aldape Hernandez was caught smuggling five Gulf Cartel members in Roma back in April.

    He disappeared after bonding out of the Starr County jail in spite of having an ICE detainer. He was caught smuggling again last week.

    Martie Garcia-Vela, Starr County Assistant District Attorney said, “I think the federal system has a more expedient system where they get to move their cases a lot quicker. Sometimes we can't prosecute because of certain injunctions in the law regarding smuggling.”

    She hopes federal prosecutors can send Aldape away for a while.

    She looked over his federal criminal complaint.

    “These are little indications that the material witnesses on this complaint are little indications of the scheme that they have to extort people of money or of illegal favors to pay off this debt. And it's really sad,” said Garcia-Vela.

    The complaint detailed how Aldape was caught smuggling 11 people, two of them children.

    Aldape was driving erratically and finally stopped for Border Patrol agents.

    One man in the vehicle told the federal agents he was charged $7,000 to be smuggled across the river. He had only paid $2,000.

    “People like him, they'll have him do other dirty work in order to cure his debt. So, they may hold him in Starr County and tell him you're going to go to the river at 10 o'clock tonight and cross over several loads and you'll get credit for $1,000,” said Garcia-Vela.

    Border Patrol is familiar with extortion cases as well.

    “We've had cases where the smugglers on the Mexican side, they'll have members of the group that they're going to smuggle across carry drugs in. They'll force them, scare them, intimidate them with weapons,” Castro said.

    Agents and prosecutors continue to fight against the cycle of smuggling.

    Castro said, “Even if he (Ramirez) goes through the system again, at least we're documenting that, he's serving his time. And that's important.”

    They call his conviction a small win.
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  2. #2
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    They do so much damage and cost our taxpayers BILLIONS!

    Build the Wall

    No papers, no entry, no rights, no freebies...immediate deportation.

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