Man, woman remain in prison on human smuggling charges
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May 04, 2010 9:29 PM
By ILDEFONSO ORTIZ, The Brownsville Herald

A Brownsville woman and a Honduran man remain in federal custody on human smuggling charges in connection with a raid that resulted in the detention of 50 undocumented immigrants, after the two failed to post bond set during their detention hearing.

Laura Patricia Miranda and Juan Carlos Gamundi Taucheth were arrested last Thursday near a house on the 1400 block of North Vermillion and later charged by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with transporting undocumented aliens within the United States, a criminal complaint states. The ages of Miranda and Gamundi were not listed in court records.

On Tuesday morning, Miranda and Gamundi went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio who set their bonds at $50,000 each and remanded them to the custody of the U.S. Marshals.

The arrest took place when federal agents with ICE and U.S. Border Patrol conducted surveillance and later served a search warrant on Thursday morning at the house, court records state.

The search was conducted with the consent of Miranda who was stopped by the federal agents when she left the house in a black Pontiac sedan towards a nearby convenience store, the complaint states.

When the agents conducted the search, they called in the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Brownsville Police Department after finding an artillery mortar inside the house, according to a written statement by ICE.

The mortar turned out to be a souvenir and was not dangerous, but the agents did find 50 undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the release stated.

An investigation by ICE revealed the Miranda and Gamundi were the caretakers of the undocumented immigrants.