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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A 50-year-old commercial truck driver has been ordered to federal prison after he was caught attempting to smuggle five noncitizens and a large amount of methamphetamines in his truck.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Corpus Christi and the U.S. Border Patrol conducted the investigation that led to the conviction and sentencing.
Fabian Alvarado was sentenced Aug. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to 10 years in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release for human smuggling and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines. Alvarado pleaded guilty to the charges on Feb. 27.
“Today’s prison sentence sends a resounding message to human smugglers and drug traffickers everywhere who believe they can circumvent our nation’s laws without detection or penalty,” said HSI Corpus Christi Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert Hein. “Working in conjunction with our partners at the U.S. Border Patrol, this individual was quickly identified at the southern border as a suspected drug trafficker and human smuggler, convicted of his crimes and will spend the next 10 years in federal prison.”
On Dec. 9, 2022, Alvarado drove a semitractor-trailer into the inspection lane of the Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias. During routine inspection, authorities observed Alvarado acting suspiciously. After a K-9 alerted to the vehicle, law enforcement officials referred him to the secondary inspection area, where they discovered five noncitizens concealed in the sleeper portion of the cabin. They also found a bag in the passenger seat that contained 45 grams of methamphetamines and a firearm along with Alvarado’s wallet. In the glove compartment, authorities found cellphones and identification documents that had been taken from the noncitizens.
At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence detailing Alvarado’s extensive criminal history, including prior federal convictions for drug trafficking and human smuggling.
Alvarado 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 Robert D. Thorpe Jr. prosecuted the case.
For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate human smuggling and illicit drug trafficking in Southeast Texas follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @HSIHouston.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (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 more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
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