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Human Smuggling/Trafficking
07/01/2014

Mexican man sentenced to 6 years for conspiring to transport illegal aliens

HOUSTON — A Mexican citizen was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiring to transport and harbor illegal aliens, resulting in the death of a 40-year-old man.

This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bee County (Texas) Sheriff's Office and the Nueces County (Texas) Office of the Medical Examiner.

Heriberto Barajas-Coria, of Mexico, was sentenced to 72 months in prison for conspiring to transport and harbor aliens, resulting in the death of one of the aliens. Barajas-Coria previously pleaded guilty to the charge Feb. 6. As an illegal alien, Barajas-Coria is also expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.

In June 2012, several undocumented aliens entered the United States from Mexico and were guided to a stash house in a trailer park in McAllen, Texas. Two days later they were driven for about three hours to a place where they exited the vehicles and were guided through the brush for about five days.

After finally reaching a road, Barajas-Coria drove them to Houston. After two hours of driving, a 40-year-old Mexican man died. Barajas-Coria told two other undocumented aliens to leave the body by the side of the road. The other aliens were then taken to a stash house in Houston.

Days later Barajas-Coria contacted a relative of one of the undocumented aliens to demand smuggling fees. That relative contacted police, who subsequently arranged for a meeting with Barajas-Coria to pay the fees. Barajas-Coria fled that meeting but was later arrested.

Barajas-Coria will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.