More U.S. Soldiers Arrested in Ongoing Human Smuggling Investigation

Army trainers watch as Iraqi Army recruits train at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army's 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching soldiers from the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try …
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MCALLEN, Texas — More U.S. Army soldiers have been arrested for allegedly using their uniforms and military status during human smuggling efforts. The soldiers have reportedly been corrupted by Mexican human smuggling organizations or drug cartels.

In the most recent case two soldiers from Fort Bliss, tried to drive through a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in South Texas with illegal immigrants in their vehicle. Along the Southwest U.S border, the federal government has set up various immigration checkpoints between 70 and 80 miles north of the border presenting drug cartels with one last obstacle in their drug or human smuggling venture.

The most recent attempt took place on Saturday when Marco Antonio Nava and Joseph Cleveland failed in their smuggling attempt resulting in their arrest by federal authorities, according to KFOX14. Breitbart Texas has been reporting on the ongoing arrests of military personnel in connection with human smuggling operations since 2014 when former U.S. Army soldier Erick Rodriguez tried to drive through a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint with two illegal immigrants hiding in his truck.

The case against Rodriguez was part of an operation that has resulted in multiple arrests and convictions of military personnel. During questioning by Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents, he admitted to having driven through the checkpoint at least two other times.

By August 2015, various other  U.S. soldiers from Fort Hood and Fort Bliss had been arrested and were eventually convicted for their role in the human smuggling operation. The group would use their military gear and uniforms in an effort to bypass the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias and Sarita. 

Last month, Breitbart Texas reported Rodriguez and fellow soldier Brandon Robbins went before a U.S. District Judge in Brownsville for their sentencing hearing in connection with the smuggling operation.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.


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