Arrest of 8 individuals for their roles in an alien smuggling operation uncovere
United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced that arrest of eight individuals this morning
for their roles in an alien smuggling operation uncovered in San Marcos, Texas, in July 2008.
On Tuesday, a federal grand jury in Austin returned a superseding indictment against the eight arrested and four other individuals charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Those arrested include:
Juanita Leija-Trevino, age 54, of Staples, TX; Sandra Leija, age 34, of Austin; Concepcion Loredo-Leija, age 25, of Austin; Wendy Nadine Adame, age 26, of San Marcos; Leticia Ann Miranda, age 37, of San Marcos; Randy Rene Contreras, age 31, of Maxwell, TX; and, Leslie Denise Vargas, age 32, of San Marcos; Mary Salinas, age 62, of San Marcos.
Arrest warrants have been issued for 41-year-old Fulgencio Loredo-Rubio and his brother, 38year-old Luis Loredo-Rubio, both of whom are Mexican citizens residing in San Marcos as well as 28-year-old Marisavette Esteves-Leija of Sugarland, TX, and 24-year-old Miriam Salgado-Ortega of Houston.
The superseding indictment encompasses the original indictment returned in August of last year which charged 33-year-old Rosalinda Trevino-Alvarez of Staples, TX; 26-year-old Luz Maria Garcia-Garza of Rio Grande City, TX; 26-year-old Mexican national Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega; 28-year-old Mexican national Alejandro Guzman-Ortega; 31-year-old Mexican national Argeo Salgado-Ortega; and 44-year-old Mexican national Saul Romero-Salgado with one count each of conspiracy to smuggle, transport and harbor illegal aliens, hostage taking, forced labor and conspiracy to use or possess a firearm during a crime of violence. The original indictment also charged Rosalinda Trevino, Luz Garcia, Julio Salgado and Alejandro Guzman with a substantive count of alien harboring plus, Rosalinda Trevino, Argeo Salgado and Saul Romero were charged with at least one substantive count of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.
Per the superseding indictment, Rosalinda Trevino and Julio Salgado face a money laundering conspiracy charge in addition to the charges contained in the original indictment.
On July 16, 2008, federal and local authorities executed a search warrant at a mobile home in San Marcos being leased by Rosalinda Trevino-Alvarez. There they discovered approximately 25 illegal aliens from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua being forcibly detained pending payment of smuggling fees by friends or family. According to the superceding indictment, the defendants conspired from January 2003 to July 2008, to cause or conduct wire transfers totaling approximately $1,000,000 in derived proceeds from the illegal alien smuggling operation.
Rosalinda Trevino-Alvarez, Luz Maria Garcia-Garza, Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega, Alejandro Guzman-Ortega, Argeo Salgado-Ortega and Saul Romero-Salgado all remain in federal custody. They each face up to life in federal prison upon conviction of all charges. The other defendants each face up to 20 years in federal prison upon conviction of the money laundering conspiracy charge.
Agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives together with officers from the San Marcos and Austin Police Departments conducted this ongoing investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Gerald C. Carruth and Michelle Fernald are prosecuting the case for the Government.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely an accusation and not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.