CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A federal jury has convicted a
49-year-old legal permanent resident from Donna 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.
During trial the jury heard that on Dec. 21, 2018,
authorities arrested Federico Espinosa-Flores at the Border Patrol Checkpoint
At approximately 7:40 A.M., Espinosa-Flores drove a white
Ford cargo van disguised as an adult daycare business and entered the primary
inspection lane. At that time, authorities noticed him exhibiting signs of
nervousness, such as avoiding eye contact and having trembling hands.
Espinosa-Flores consented to a search of which resulted in the discovery of 10
undocumented aliens in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. Six were Chinese
nationals. Two others were from
The defense attempted to convince the jury that
authorities coached him on what to say in his recorded and detailed confession.
They did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.
Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey presided over the
trial and set sentencing for Dec. 16, 2019. At that time, Espinosa-Flores faces
up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum $250,000 possible fine.
Previously released on bond, Espinosa-Flores was taken
into custody following the verdict today where he will remain pending his
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security
Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neel Kapur
and Lance Watt are prosecuting the case.