CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 32-year-old Houston man has pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle undocumented aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Today, Vince Ruiz III pleaded guilty to one count of transporting illegal aliens within the United States.
On Oct. 5, 2021, Ruiz drove a white Freightliner tractor pulling two trailers marked “FedEx Ground” into the primary inspection lane at the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint located near Falfurrias. During inspection, a K-9 alerted authorities to one of the trailers.
A subsequent search of the trailer revealed 20 undocumented individuals inside behind a locked door.
Ruiz admitted he drove to Edinburg to pick up the trailer and return to Cypress. During the trip, he pulled over to the side of the road in a secluded area where the undocumented individuals were then loaded into the trailer.
They were later determined to be illegally present in the country
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will impose sentencing Oct. 4. At that time, Ruiz faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Ruiz has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Parker Gochenour is prosecuting the case.