CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 27-year-old Mexican man has pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle undocumented aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Luis Alberto Garcia-Quirino admitted to one count of transporting illegal aliens within the United States.
On June 28, law enforcement observed a black Honda Accord traveling North near La Gloria. At that time, the vehicle appeared to be riding low and moving at a slow rate of speed.
Authorities followed the vehicle and pulled up next to it. They saw multiple silhouettes shifting around in the rear passenger area. They further noticed Garcia-Quirino repeatedly turning around to speak to someone in the rear of the vehicle.
A registration check on the Texas license plate revealed the year of the vehicle did not match its description in the system. Law enforcement attempted to conduct a traffic stop. However, the car failed to yield and continued northbound. The vehicle then crossed intersections of two county roads and pulled over at the gate of La Rucia Ranch.
Authorities discovered nine individuals in the car including an unaccompanied minor. They were all found to be illegally present in the country.
As part of his plea, Garcia-Quirino admitted he illegally entered the United States by crossing the river near Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. After he and others were taken to a stash house, Garcia-Quirino then drove the others further into the United States.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will impose sentencing Feb. 14, 2023. At that time, Garcia-Quirino faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Garcia-Quirino has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Parker Gochenour is prosecuting the case.