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Mexican national pleads guilty to transporting 9 illegal aliens

Posted at 1:30 PM, Oct 18, 2018

LAKE CHARLES, La. – A Mexican national pleaded guilty last week to transporting nine illegal aliens in Calcasieu Parish, according to United States Attorney David C. Joseph.

Felix Manuel Juarez-Peralta, 28, of Mexico, pleaded guilty Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to one count of illegal alien transportation. According to the guilty plea, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle June 7, 2018, traveling west on Interstate 10 in Sulphur. Officers found Juarez-Peralta and nine illegal aliens in a Toyota 4Runner. One of the passengers was an unaccompanied minor. After questioning the defendant, Juarez-Peralta admitted that he knew the passengers were illegal aliens and that he had been paid to transport them.

One of the illegal aliens traveling in the vehicle was charged with illegal re-entry. Jonathan Flores-Hernandez, 22, of Mexico, pleaded guilty on Monday before U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. to one count of re-entry of a removed alien and was sentenced to time served. He was previously arrested on April 30, 2018, near Rio Grande, Texas, and was deported to Mexico via the Hidalgo, Texas, port of entry on May 3, 2018.

Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Border Patrol and Calcasieu Combined Anti-Drug Team conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Ayo prosecuted the case.