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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Human smuggler gets enhanced 9-year prison sentence in south Texas for sexually assaulting a child

MCALLEN, Texas – A convicted alien smuggler from Mexico was sentenced Thursday to nine years imprisonment for smuggling illegal aliens and sexually assaulting a child repeatedly.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol (BP), San Juan Police Department and Alton Police Department.

Jose Guadalupe Reyna-Esparza, 21, of Tampico, Mexico, appeared before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez who sentenced Reyna-Esparza to 108 months imprisonment. This sentence was enhanced since Reyna-Esparza had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl, who was an illegal alien, on a number of occasions. As an illegal alien himself, Reyna-Esparza is expected to be deported after he’s released from prison. He pleaded guilty to the charges Oct. 2.

According to court documents, from July 16 to July 17, 2012, Reyna-Esparza harbored illegal aliens at a McAllen residence. On July 17, law enforcement officers observed Reyna-Esparza and two other individuals leave the residence in a vehicle. When officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Reyna-Esparza, led them on a high-speed chase before eventually stopping his vehicle and absconding into a field. During the investigation, it was discovered that Reyna-Esparza had sexually assaulted the 14-year-old girl.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Kristen Rees, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.