Kidnapping and human smuggling offenses are often on the radar of law enforcement in the border areas of Texas close to Mexico. Recently three men from South Texas were sentenced to federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to kidnap illegal aliens.
This sentencing was announced in May by Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez, Southern District of Texas, American Security Today reported.
The arrests followed a major investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The convictions carried long sentences in a federal prison. Jose Diaz, 42, from Laredo, in Texas was sentenced on May 2 by U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo to 360 months in federal prison;
Co-defendants Angel Alexis Diaz, 20 and Julio Osorio, 42, who are also from Laredo, received sentences of 262 months and 292 months respectively. The trio pleaded guilty to the crimes in Sept. 2016.
All the sentences will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. All three pleaded guilty to the charges Sept. 8, 2016.
The three men were accused of kidnapping and brutalizing undocumented immigrants from Texas.
Court documents stated eight Mexicans arranged to be smuggled into the United States. The victims claimed after they entered the country, they were transported to a home in Laredo where they remained for about two weeks.
The Mexicans were then taken to a second location. They claimed the three defendants held them against their will, assaulted them and extorted them for smuggling fees over and above those agreed on.
The Mexicans said they were stripped naked, forced to undress and were beaten. They were held hostage by the three men and forced to contact family members to pay a ransom.
Shane Folden, special agent in charge, HSI San Antonio, said kidnapping and human smuggling are key areas of federal enforcement. He said:
“Today’s sentence represents a significant win for the citizens of south Texas and the multiple law enforcement agencies that participated in this robust investigation into human smuggling.”
He said HSI will continue to work extremely closely with law enforcement partners to target and investigate members of transnational criminal organizations who pose a danger to the public in an effort to “completely dismantle these criminal enterprises and protect people from their violence.”
If you have been charged with a serious offense like kidnapping in Texas, the authorities will seek to incarcerate you for a long time. It’s important to hire a vastly experienced Tarrant County criminal defense lawyer. Contact us here.