EMS employee indicted for smuggling two in ambulance

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

LAREDO, Texas – A 45-year-old man has been indicted on alien smuggling charges, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

A federal grand jury returned the three-count indictment against Hugo Daniel Torres. He was originally charged by criminal complaint. He is expected to appear for his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher dos Santos on the indictment in the near future.

On March 2, Torres allegedly attempted to drive an ambulance through the Interstate Highway 35 Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint located in Laredo. The charges further allege authorities became suspicious after the passenger of the vehicle appeared nervous and did not provide proof of citizenship.

At secondary inspection, law enforcement determined the passenger and one other woman posing as a patient were non-U.S. citizens and were in the United States illegally, according to the charges.

If convicted, Torres faces up to 10 years in prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

BP conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Isaac is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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