Member of Mexican Mafia caught smuggling migrants in South Texas, CBP says

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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) ⁠— Authorities in South Texas arrested a man who admitted to being a member of the Mexican Mafia, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday.

Agents from the Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector assisted Maverick County Sheriff’s deputies conducting a traffic stop Oct. 2 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Agents said there were five people in the vehicle, including three undocumented immigrants hidden in the back seat.

Agents identified the driver as 39-year-old Juan Alberto Garcia, an admitted member of the Mexican Mafia who has an extensive criminal history. Garcia, a U.S. citizen, has multiple felony convictions throughout Texas for drug-related offenses and other crimes including assault, burglary and theft, according to a news release.

Garcia and the unidentifed front-seat passenger will both be charged with alien smuggling, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

“We enjoy an excellent relationship with our local law enforcement partners,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a statement. “I applaud the Maverick County Sheriff’s Deputies and our agents, who worked together to stop a convicted felon from smuggling illegal aliens into our communities.”

Agents also arrested the undocumented immigrants — two from Ecuador and a Guatemalan.

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