Two 19-year-year-old San Antonio residents were arrested on suspicion of attempting to smuggle two immigrants into Dallas on Oct. 8.
The pair was taken into custody after McLennan County sheriff’s deputies pulled over their Dodge Avenger as they drove it along Interstate 35. A police spokesperson says that the two teens were stopped just as they were reaching Bellmead, a city that sits to the north of Waco, because their vehicle had expired tags.
When asked by police what she was up to that night, the driver reportedly told them that the two men seated in the rear portion of her vehicle were her uncles. She said that she was transporting the men from her hometown of San Antonio to Dallas.
Upon questioning one of the men from the back seat of the car, officers heard a different story. One of those men told an officer how they’d paid $900 for someone to smuggle them over the border from Mexico into Texas. Although border patrol officers had captured the other members of the group, these men had apparently evaded capture. Once they did, they found someone who offered to take them to Dallas for $4,700.
It wasn’t long after being confronted with men’s version of the story that the female motorist reportedly conceded that she’d received $800 as payment to carry them to Dallas.
Police later searched the vehicle and found fake identification cards for the men.
Soon thereafter, all four occupants of the vehicle were placed under arrest. The two teens were released from jail on a $15,000 bond the next day.
As for the immigrants, at least one of them, a 25-year-old man, had an arrest warrant outstanding for him. He was wanted for having violated the terms of his probation by driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Dallas County. He remained in custody on $1,000 bail. Both men are being held on an immigration detainer as well.
When they’re arrested, what many immigrants don’t realize is that they enjoy many of the same rights protected by the U.S. Constitution as citizens. It’s important for any individual charged with a crime to remain silent until they have an opportunity to consult with an experienced, Spanish-speaking Dallas criminal immigration attorney who can provide them with sound advice in their legal matter.