JACKSON, Miss. – A citizen of El Salvador was sentenced to 18 months in prison Tuesday for transporting illegal aliens for profit through Mississippi, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
Mario Carballo, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William H. Barbour Jr. after pleading guilty to the charge in February.
"Organizations like this see people as nothing more than currency," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans. "ICE remains committed to shutting down vulnerabilities in our immigration system by attacking and dismantling the organized networks that transport illegal aliens for profit." Parmer oversees HSI activities in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana.
HSI initiated an investigation into Carballo in November after receiving a request for assistance from the Mississippi Highway Patrol. The Mississippi Highway Patrol encountered Carballo during a traffic stop on Interstate 20 in Rankin County, Miss.
Carballo drove a minivan transporting nine illegal aliens to various locations along the East Coast with a final destination in Maryland. During an interview with HSI special agents following his arrest, Carballo, of Los Angeles, Calif., admitted that he knew what he was doing was illegal.