63-year-old Rogelio Munoz Chavarria, a truck driver from El Paso, will reportedly spend four months in federal prison for smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States. He previously pled guilty to smuggling foreign nationals into the country for money. Chavarria worked with 14 others in a Dallas-based smuggling ring.
The group, led by 46-year-old Robert “Beto” Perez Jr., helped 150 illegal immigrants gain entry into the U.S., according to the El Paso Times. 18 of the smuggled were allegedly minors.
Perez and his wife, 45-year-old Mexican national Refugio Aide Diaz Martinez, both pled guilty in the case, according to reports by the Associated Press. Perez will reportedly spend eight years in prison–his wife will only serve six years, despite being an illegal immigrant.
A Homeland Security Investigations spokesman told Breitbart Texas that the case is somewhat unusual, since the ring was based in Dallas. Such groups are more common in Houston, he said.
“Generally speaking, Dallas does not get too much action in terms of human smuggling operations,” the spokesman said. “The closer you get to Texas’ southern border, the more of these cases you tend to see. Still, a lot of people who are being smuggled into the country don’t want to stay near the border, they want to be located somewhere to the North. So Dallas could be a hub, or a stopping point along the way to another destination.”
Investigators claim that the ring was formed in 2008 and transported Mexican nationals through the border along El Paso, according to reports.
The case involving Chavarria is only the most recent in a string of human smuggling cases to plague Texas.
Last month Breitbart Texas reported on a large stash house discovered in Houston, holding over 100 smuggled foreign nationals.
When officers entered the home in March, they saw “a sea of people, some sitting on top of each other,” Houston Police Department (HPD) spokesperson John Cannon told Breitbart Texas. “The conditions inside were filthy and dirty. Everywhere you looked there were clothes on the floor. There was one bathroom, no hot water, and a toilet that was only partially working…We got all the people out of the home. They were very tired and hungry so we provided them with food and water.”
115 hostages, the majority of whom were male, were ultimately found inside the home. The case is still being investigated by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the HPD, and ICE.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate