CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 28-year-old legal permanent
resident alien who resided in Houston has been convicted of conspiring to and
transporting an illegal alien within the United States, announced U.S. Attorney
Ryan K. Patrick.
A federal jury sitting in Corpus Christi convicted Arturo
Javier Garcia-Perez following two days of trial and less than an hour of
A Robstown police officer had pulled over a black 2007
Chevy pickup truck in the early morning hours of Jan. 27, 2019, on Highway 77
near Terrie Shamsie Boulevard for a faulty license plate light and obstructed
Garcia-Perez was the driver. While being questioned,
Garcia-Perez began to be evasive.
There were three others in the vehicle who were also
questioned. The stories conflicted. Border Patrol was called to assist and
ultimately determined that one of the occupants was a citizen of Honduras,
illegally present in the United States.
The jury heard Garcia-Perez admitted to agents that he
had dropped off his co-defendants and the illegal alien south of the Falfurrias
border patrol checkpoint and picked them up north of the checkpoint.
Garcia-Perez attempted to convince the jury that he
didn't know the status of the alien. They did not believe his claims and found
him guilty as charged.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos presided over
the trial and set sentencing for July 24, 2019. At that time, Garcia-Perez
faces up to 10 years for the conspiracy and five years for transportation of an
illegal alien. He could also be imposed up to $250,000 in fines and could lose
his status as an LPR.
Previously released on bond, Garcia-Perez was taken into
custody following the verdict today where he will remain pending transfer to a
U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Border Patrol and the Robstown Police Department
conducted the joint investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Supplee and
Michael Hess are prosecuting the case.