Laid Off Oil Worker Turns to Human Smuggling, Court Records Say


McALLEN, Texas – The rough patch that the Texas oil industry currently endures apparently encouraged a former oil worker to take up human smuggling to make quick money. That is what he allegedly told federal agents that after his arrest, according to court records.

The Duvall County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested Brandon Lee Gamez on a rural road near Freer, Texas, where federal prosecutors claim he drove a truck with six illegal immigrants inside, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.

The deputy spotted Gomez’s pickup truck driving through a rural road that ended at a dead end and approached him noticing that the vehicle overflowed with people. The area serves as a common drug and human smuggling corridor.

When the deputy initially detained Gamez while waiting for U.S. Border Patrol, he found a handgun in the center console of the pickup truck. As the deputy seized the handgun, a person in the truck later identified as the guide ran away into the brush.

During questioning by agents, Gamez allegedly said he had just lost his job as an oilfield worker and that a man named “Jared” approached him at a local bar offering $500 to pick up a group of illegal immigrants, court records revealed.

Lorenza Torres Perez, one of the illegal immigrants from Guatemala, told agents that in mid-June she had waded across the Rio Grande near Hidalgo, Texas, and had then spent more than two weeks in the border cities of Mission and McAllen.

From the stash house, Torres was taken to a brush area about 30 minutes away. She spent four days trekking in the brush before authorities stopped her.

Gamez went before a magistrate judge in Corpus Christi who ordered him held without bond and also ordered that Torres and another immigrant be held as witnesses in the case.

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