LAREDO, Texas – A 24-year-old Laredo man has
been ordered to federal prison for his role in transporting 17 undocumented
aliens inside a hidden compartment, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Andrew Barron pleaded guilty June 28.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina
Garcia Marmolejo handed him a 48-month sentence to be immediately followed by three
years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional
evidence that described the reckless disregard Barron demonstrated in
transporting the aliens in such a manner.
On April 19, Barron approached the Interstate
Highway 35 checkpoint driving Chevy truck towing an open-air trailer with a
load of mesquite wood. Authorities referred him to secondary inspection, at
which time they searched the trailer and found a hidden compartment under the
After they unloaded it, they discovered 17
undocumented aliens, including three women and one juvenile male. All were
citizens of Mexico.
Barron will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of
Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations
and Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant
U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Evans prosecuted the case.