CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 50-year-old legal permanent
resident from Donna has been ordered to federal
prison following his conviction for knowingly and intentionally conspiring to
unlawfully transporting undocumented illegal aliens, announced U.S.
Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
The jury deliberated for approximately one hour before
convicting Federico Espinosa-Flores following a two-day trial Sept. 11.
Today, U.S. District Judge John Rainey ordered him to prison for
21 months to be immediately followed by one year of supervised release. In handing down the
sentence, the court noted the overwhelming amount of evidence against the
On Dec. 21, 2018, at approximately 7:40 a.m.,
Espinosa-Flores entered the primary inspection lane of the Border Patrol (BP)
checkpoint in Sarita driving a white Ford cargo van disguised as an adult daycare
business. At that time, authorities noticed him exhibiting signs of
nervousness, such as avoiding eye contact and having trembling hands. He
consented to a vehicle search which resulted in the discovery of 10
undocumented aliens in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. Six were Chinese
nationals and two others were from Mexico and Colombia.
During trial, the defense attempted to convince the jury
that authorities coached Espinosa-Flores on what to say in his recorded and
detailed confession. They did not believe those claims and found him guilty as
Espinosa-Flores 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 conducted the investigation with assistance from Customs and
Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neel Kapur and Lance Watt
are prosecuting the case.