LAREDO, Texas – A 29-year-old resident of Elkhart has been indicted for conspiring to transport over 100 non-U.S. citizens, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
A federal grand jury returned the two-count indictment against Daniel Chavez. He was originally charged by criminal complaint. He is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga on the indictment in the near future.
According to the complaint, on March 30, Chavez arrived at the Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint on I-35 while driving a tractor trailer. At inspection, a K-9 allegedly alerted authorities to the trailer. Law enforcement opened it found 107 individuals later determined to be undocumented aliens, according to the charges.
If convicted, Chavez faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 maximum possible fine.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of BP. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fawcett is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.