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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

South Texas bar owners sentenced for harboring aliens

MCALLEN, Texas - A south Texas couple on Monday was sentenced for conspiring to harbor aliens, announced U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC).

Tereso Murrillo Olivo, 55, and Nancy Olivo, 44, appeared before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane on Jan. 10. Tereso received 15 months in prison without parole to be followed by a two-year-term of supervised release. His wife, Nancy Olivo, was sentenced to time served and a two-year-term of supervised release which includes a six-month term of home confinement.

According to court documents, in April 2010 ICE HSI agents received information that El Centenario Bar, a bar Tereso and Nancy Olivo owned and operated in Mission, Texas, was employing illegal aliens as barmaids. On Sept. 9, agents arrived at the couples' residence where they found three illegal aliens residing. The investigation later determined these aliens and others worked at the bar owned by the defendants.

On Oct. 22, the Olivos appeared before Judge Crane and entered their guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to harbor aliens. At the sentencing hearing, Judge Crane held the defendants accountable for illegally harboring six illegal aliens.

Tereso Olivo has been in custody without bond where he will remain pending transfer to an as-yet undesignated Bureau of Prisons facility where he will serve his sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Ann Leo, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.