GULFPORT, Miss., – Roberto Esquivel-Alonso, 41, a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the U.S., and who U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the New Orleans Sector, Gulfport, Miss., Station arrested November 15 for transporting illegal aliens, was arraigned December 18.
Shundral H. Cole, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, is prosecuting. The Border Patrol is investigating.
According to court records, Border Patrol agents observed two SUVs traveling together and stopped them along Highway 90 near Gulfport. Esquivel-Alonso operated one vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban, and an accomplice operated the second, a 2001 GMC Yukon.
During the vehicle stop, agents discovered that the vehicle carried five passengers each, eight men and two unaccompanied boys. Both drivers and all 10 passengers are illegal aliens from Mexico. Agents arrested Esquivel-Alonso, detained the 11 other men, and seized the two SUVs.
The maximum penalty for transportation of illegal aliens is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The New Orleans Sector continues to conduct proactive, intelligence-based enforcement operations throughout the Gulf Coast Corridor in order to disrupt and degrade smuggling operations.
“As this arrest illustrates, the U.S. Border Patrol New Orleans Sector supports the National Border Patrol Strategy to heighten security throughout the Gulf Coast Corridor,” said Chief Patrol Agent Jonathan Richards. “Through our ongoing enforcement efforts, we seek to cause a persistent change in the tactics, techniques and procedures of criminal organizations operating within this corridor. These efforts should help to keep our communities safe and secure.”
The New Orleans Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. The New Orleans Sector’s enforcement posture supports that campaign by reducing the ability of criminal organizations to exploit transportation routes within the area, and degrades their ability to conduct criminal acts.
“Our strategic intent is to enhance border security in the Gulf Coast region by providing actionable intelligence in support of our Southwest Border partners,” said Chief Patrol Agent Jonathan Richards.
The U.S. Border Patrol asks that “if you see something, say something” by reporting suspicious activity to the Sector’s toll-free telephone number at 1-866-50-PROTECT (1-866-507-7683).
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.