LAREDO, Texas – A federal jury in Laredo has convicted a 47-year-old for conspiring to transport and transporting undocumented aliens within the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for over three hours before convicting Roderick DeWayne Chisley, of Monroe, Louisiana, following a three-day trial.
The jury heard that on Dec. 17, 2021, authorities stopped Chisley shortly after he passed through the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint on I-35.
Authorities discovered the tractor trailer he was driving was stolen. Upon further inspection, law enforcement found 52 undocumented individuals in the trailer. They were later determined to be illegally present in the country.
Chisley admitted he was going to be paid $50,000 to transport the tractor trailer from Laredo to San Antonio.
At trial, law enforcement testimony explained the laws governing the commercial trucking industry and about standard practices of truck drivers.
The defense attempted to convince the jury that Chisley had no knowledge of the 52 aliens in his trailer.
However, the jury heard additional testimony from two of the undocumented aliens. They described how the vehicle began moving almost immediately after they entered the trailer. It did not stop until they reached the checkpoint.
The jury did not believe the defense story and found Chisley guilty as charged.
U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña presided over trial and will set sentencing at a future date. At that time, Chisley faces up to 10 years of imprisonment and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Chisley will remain in custody pending that hearing.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of BP. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Fawcett and Aaron Petters are prosecuting the case.