LAREDO, Texas – A Houston area couple was charged in federal court Thursday on allegations they attempted to smuggle 89 noncitizens inside a tractor trailer.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Laredo is investigating the case in coordination with U.S. Laredo Border Patrol Sector.
Marc Anthony Bane, 32, from Porter, Texas and Tara Renee Dillon, 33, from Conroe, Texas appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Dos Santos who charged the couple for their role in human smuggling.
According to court documents, Bane and Dillon arrived at the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 approximately 29 miles north of Laredo in a tractor-trailer. There, a service K-9 allegedly detected an odor within the trailer. The charges allege Border Patrol then searched the vehicle and found 89 noncitizens. The individuals were sweating profusely inside the warm trailer even though it was approximately 3 a.m. when Border Patrol discovered them.
Bane allegedly expected to be paid $1,000 for transporting the trailer.
If convicted, Bane and Dillon face up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fawcett, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of ICE responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.