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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Man pleads guilty to transporting illegal aliens

JACKSON, Miss. — A citizen of El Salvador pleaded guilty Friday to 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, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Barbour Jr. Carballo is scheduled for sentencing May 15.

"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 responsibility for the states of 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. Carballo was encountered by the Mississippi Highway Patrol 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. Carballo, of Los Angeles, Calif., admitted that he knew what he was doing was illegal during an interview with HSI special agents following his arrest.

For more information, visit www.ice.gov.