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U.S. Border Patrol Agents Arrest Leader of Houston-Based Alien Smuggling Organization; Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison

Release Date: 
July 26, 2012

Tampa, Fla. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tampa Station intercepted and arrested the leader of a Houston-based group that transported illegal aliens throughout the United States. The driver, Jose Francisco Guerra, 29, a Mexican national living in Houston, Texas, pled guilty to the charges of Conspiring to Transport Illegal Aliens and for Aiding and Abetting in the Transportation of Illegal Aliens.

On July 16, Jose Francisco Guerra, a Mexican national, was sentenced to 41 months in prison by the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida. Guerra was the last co-conspirator in the organization to be sentenced. Seven other members of his organization were previously sentenced for their roles in the case:

  • On August 17, 2011, Heber Gonzalez-Almendares, 29, Honduran national, was sentenced to 8 months in prison.

  • In November 2011, Hernan Hernandez-Romero, 27, Honduran national, was sentenced to 24 months in prison.

  • On December 20, 2011, Jose Mauriacio Orellana-Ayala, 39, Honduran national, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

  • On January 27, 2012, Ricardo Garcia Ruiz, 29, Mexican national, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

  • On February 13, 2012, Rigoberto Bautista-Villanueva, 39, Honduran national, was sentenced to 42 months in prison.

  • Luis Figueroa-Cruz, 30, Honduran national, was sentenced to 9 months in prison; and

  • Alejandro Zavala-Nickols, 40, Honduran national, was sentenced to 5 years of probation.

The case was investigated by CBP U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations in Tampa and prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Donald L. Hansen of the U.S. District Court in Tampa.

The CBP U.S. Border Patrol Miami Sector is committed to ensuring America's borders remain safe and that dangerous individuals are prevented from making it further into the interior of the United States and into our communities.

CBP welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity, including drug and alien smuggling. They can remain anonymous by calling the Border Patrol toll free number at (877) 872-7435.

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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017