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Government Agency News ICE breaking news

DEL RIO, Texas — A Honduran national was sentenced to 15 years in prison for transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, commonly called HSI, and the U.S. Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector.

On Dec. 8, a judge sentenced Onilson Dario Juarez-Mendez, 41, to 188 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.

“This case is a stark reminder of just how callous human smugglers can be when it comes to exploiting individuals for money, whether they are adults or minors,” said Alejandro Amaro, deputy special agent in charge of HSI in Laredo. “This human smuggler pretended to be a relative and then used extortion methods to attempt to obtain money from the family. It clearly illustrates how criminals will illegally smuggle people for personal profit ahead of public safety. This is why HSI continues to work aggressively to bring smugglers to justice.”

“This case illustrates the lengths and degrees this office will go to seek justice for the victims of heinous crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas. “I’d like to express my appreciation for the Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Border Patrol, whose tireless work in this case made this successful prosecution possible.”

According to court documents, in November 2019, Juarez-Mendez illegally entered the United States by wading across the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass, Texas, accompanied by a juvenile female. The girl denied Juarez-Mendez’s claims that she was his stepdaughter and stated that he had been sexually assaulting her during their trip. An investigation verified her claims and revealed that Juarez-Mendez had been extorting the girl’s mother for payment to deliver her to the United States.

He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Banister, Western District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

HSI also encourages the public to report suspected sex trafficking or any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the United States and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users may call TTY at 802-872-6196.

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

ICE breaking news HSI Eagle Pass, federal partner investigation results in 188-month prison sentence for Honduran man who trafficked minor from Mexico Government Agency News