Texas man admits to smuggling 3 dozen illegals in refrigerated truck

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LAREDO, TEXAS – A 41-year-old resident of San Antonio has entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to transport illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

On Oct. 20, 2020, Rodrigo Sanchez approached the I-35 Border Patrol checkpoint driving a refrigerated box truck with “JJ Produce” on the side. Soon after, a K-9 alerted to the presence of contraband in the cargo area. Authorities opened the back of the truck and discovered 37 aliens, including an unaccompanied minor, concealed behind a false wall blocked by stacks of produce.

Sanchez claimed he traveled to Laredo from San Antonio to work as a delivery driver for “AA Produce.” He stated he was to be paid $100 to drive the truck to San Antonio.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing May 5, at which time Sanchez faces up to 10 years in federal prison. He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul A. Harrison is prosecuting the case.

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