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June 10, 2019Laredo, TX, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

18-year-old Mexican man pleads guilty to transporting Chinese, Brazilian nationals

LAREDO, Texas — An 18-year-old illegal alien from Mexico pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to transport illegal aliens from China and Brazil within the United States.

This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, Southern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Laredo, in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol. 

Samuel Vasquez-Morales, from Mexico, entered a guilty plea June 10 before U. S District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo. Judge Marmolejo set Vasquez-Morales’ sentencing for Oct. 16. At that time, Vazquez-Morales faces up to 10 years in federal prison.  He will remain in federal custody pending that hearing. Since Vasquez-Morales is not a U.S. citizen, he is also expected to face deportation proceedings after he completes his prison sentence.

According to court documents, on April 1, 2019, Vazquez-Morales was apprehended after guiding six illegal aliens through the brush near Laredo. Five were from the People's Republic of China; one was a Brazilian national. Vazquez-Morales was determined to be a Mexican citizen illegally present in the United States as well.

On June 10, Vasquez-Morales admitted that he guided the group from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, into the United States. He stated he was working for Cartel Del Noreste and that he expected to be paid $400 for the job.

One of the Chinese nationals told agents he planned to pay $30,000 to be smuggled into the United States from Mexico.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Day, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.

Updated: 06/17/2019