Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a member of the “Mexican Mafia” for allegedly smuggling a load of migrants near the Texas border.
Agents assigned to the Eagle Pass Station received a call for assistance from Maverick County Sheriff’s deputies who conducted a traffic stop. The agents responded to the scene and performed an immigration interview for the occupants of the vehicle, according to Del Rio Sector officials.
The agents determined the driver and front-seat passenger to be U.S. citizens. The three passengers in the rear seat were determined to be illegal immigrants, officials stated. The agents transported all five to the Eagle Pass Station for processing and a biometric background investigation.
The agents identified the driver as 39-year-0ld Juan Alberto Garcia, a self-admitted member of the Mexican Mafia, Border Patrol officials stated. A records check revealed an extensive criminal history in multiple jurisdictions across Texas. Garcia’s convictions include drug-related offenses, assault, burglary, and theft.
He and his passenger now face federal felony charges for Alien Smuggling under 8 USC § 1324. If convicted the pair could each face up to 10 years in federal prison.
“We enjoy an excellent relationship with our local law enforcement partners,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “I applaud the Maverick County Sheriff’s Deputies and our agents, who worked together to stop a convicted felon from smuggling illegal aliens into our communities.”
The three migrants being smuggled will be processed under current CBP guidelines. Officials reported two of the migrants came to the U.S. from Ecuador while the third came from Guatemala.