LAREDO, Texas – A 49-year-old man from Gaithersburg, Maryland, has
admitted he conspired to illegally transport more than 30 illegal aliens
for financial gain, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Ernest Michael Carter pleaded guilty in
federal court today.
On June 3,
Carter arrived at the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35,
north of Laredo. He was driving a tractor trailer with Oklahoma plates. Soon
after, a K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics or hidden persons inside the
sent him to secondary inspection, at which time they discovered 36 undocumented
aliens inside the trailer, more than $45,000 in cash and $4,000 in money
orders. Two of them were minors, according to records.
documents also indicate that Carter had purchased a vehicle for $10,000 cash in
Laredo two days prior. He was unemployed at the time.
Carter has been and will remain in custody pending his
sentencing hearing, which will be set for a later date before U.S. District
Judge Diana Saldana. At that time, Carter faces up
to 10 years in prison as well as a possible $250,000 fine.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance
from BP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Day is prosecuting the case.