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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Texas woman pleads guilty to transporting illegal aliens

JACKSON, Miss. - Sheren Nguyen, 47, of Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to transporting illegal aliens through Mississippi for profit following U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Pike County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) investigation.

Nguyen entered her guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate. She is scheduled to be sentenced on June 10, 2011, at 9:30 a.m.

On Dec. 15, 2010, a vehicle driven by Nguyen on Interstate 55 North in Pike County, Miss., was stopped by a PCSO deputy for swerving. None of the passengers in the vehicle had identification documents and Nguyen made suspicious statements to the deputy. She was arrested for careless driving and not having car insurance. Nguyen and the passengers were taken to the Pike County Jail.

After this incident, ICE HSI was contacted and determined that the nine passengers were illegal aliens. Nguyen was arrested for transporting them. She had previously been detained in August 2009 for attempting to transport illegal aliens. Upon interviewing the illegal aliens, ICE HSI discovered that Nguyen knew the aliens were illegal and/or recklessly disregarded that fact. She planned to transport illegal aliens to various destinations along the East Coast and knew she would receive payment once the illegal aliens arrived at their respective destinations.

"This case is a perfect example of the outstanding cooperation between ICE HSI and our law enforcement partners," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of HSI in New Orleans. "Because of positive interagency cooperation, human trafficking and smuggling criminal organizations are discovering how difficult it is for them to hide their illegal activities from authorities. We are dedicated to identifying and dismantling these types of illicit operations wherever and whenever we find them."