Federal prosecutors are in the midst of a nationwide crackdown on individuals who assist transnational criminal organizations engaged in human trafficking across borders and deep into the United States.
From Texas to New York City, U.S. attorneys have begun to prosecute and, in some cases, close cases against U.S. citizens who have detained and transported southern border migrants across the country for the past nine months.
Meanwhile, illegal immigration to the southern border has reached its highest level in 21 years. But with border patrol officers overwhelmed and withdrawn to transport and process those in detention, many migrants manage to cross.
On September 10, a Florida man was sentenced to six years in federal prison for driving a tractor-trailer containing 149 non-citizens. The driver was arrested on December 30 after attempting to go through a border patrol checkpoint on I-35 en route from Laredo, TX to San Antonio. He expected to earn $ 10,000 for leading the group from the border.
12,000 MIGRANTS WAIT UNDER THE BRIDGE DEL RIO TO PATROL THE BORDERS
A man from Long Island, New York, pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to illegally transport people into the country. The 53-year-old was driving 42 non-citizens of Laredo to a site in the northern United States in June. Shortly after leaving, he was arrested for a traffic violation and taken into custody when police determined he had active warrants. Police at the scene opened the back of the truck and found dozens of people hiding inside.
In Brownsville, Texas, a 35-year-old man was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for detaining 57 people, including two children without parents, in a one-bedroom hotel room in June.
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A Dallas man was sentenced on September 7 to six and a half years in federal prison for conspiring to transport 126 non-citizens in a 50-degree semi-trailer indoors. He was arrested on January 6 while driving a truck from Laredo after attempting to pass a border patrol checkpoint.
On September 2, a Texan couple in their twenties were convicted of detaining more than 50 non-citizens in hotel rooms in Pharr, Texas. They rented a U-Haul truck and used it to transport the migrants between the hotel and the pick-up location. They also detained 45 people in their home.
Original location: Authorities crack down on people aiding transnational cartels in human trafficking
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