Three Charged in Alleged Scheme to Smuggle Migrant Boy to Texas

A CBP officer inspects immigration documents at a port of entry from Mexico. (File Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Mani Albrecht)
File Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Mani Albrecht

Federal prosecutors charged three people with human smuggling and transportation of an illegal immigrant for their alleged roles in attempting to transport a boy from Mexico to San Antonio, Texas.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas charged Elida Kassandra Moreno, a 26-year-old U.S. citizen who lives in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, with bringing an illegal alien child into the U.S. for profit and making false statements to a federal agent, according to a criminal complaint. Also charged in the incident are Victor Manuel Monsivais, a 65-year-old man from San Antonio, and Nery Uriostegui Dominguez, a 26-year-old resident of Mexico. These two face charges for conspiracy to transport an illegal alien.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI received information about a Mexican child who was reportedly kidnapped and transported into the U.S., according to the criminal complaint. The agents requested that Zavala County Sheriff’s Office deputies initiate a traffic stop near Batesville on a vehicle operated by Moreno. The agents asked Moreno to voluntarily follow them to Eagle Pass so she could “explain what was going on,” the complaint states.

Upon arrival at the HSI office in Eagle Pass, Moreno allegedly told agents she dropped off the boy “with an older gentleman in San Antonio.” She described the vehicle being driven by the man. Officials said they asked Moreno to ride with them voluntarily to the HSI office in San Antonio for further questioning.

After allegedly waiving her Miranda rights, Moreno stated that her friend’s “neighbor” in Piedras Negras asked her to take a boy to his family in San Antonio. The “friend” reportedly asked her to use her own son’s birth certificate to smuggle the boy into the U.S. She said she successfully crossed the border with the boy and rented a motel in Eagle Pass. The next day, she boarded a shuttle van to transport her through the Interstate 35 Border Patrol Checkpoint.

Moreno said she rented another hotel room upon her arrival in San Antonio and “attempted to give the UAC (Unaccompanied Alien Child) to another person.” That person was later identified as Uriostegui Dominguez, the complaint states. Moreno then stated that the “neighbor” instructed her to collect $2,500 from Uriostegui Dominguez. She said she was instructed to not give the child to him. A struggle between the two subsequently ensued drawing the attention of the San Antonio Police Department who placed Uriostegui Dominguez into custody.

She reportedly told the agents that she contacted “the neighbor” again and was advised to meet the “neighbor’s” father at a truck stop located south of San Antonio and turn the child over to the man. Officials identified the man as Monsivais in the complaint.

Investigators obtained information about Monsivais’ location and arranged to set up surveillance at a grocery store on the southeast side of San Antonio, where Monsivais was reportedly headed with the child. When Monsivais arrived at the parking lot, agents observed the child in his custody and made contact. The agents transported the man and the child to the HSI San Antonio office where Monsivais said he was doing a favor for his daughter (the “neighbor” in Mexico). He told investigators he was not being paid but investigators found “several money service business receipts” in his car.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated that all three suspects face up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted on the conspiracy to commit human smuggling charges. Moreno also faces up to 10 years on the separate charge of bringing an illegal alien into the U.S. for profit and five years for making false statements to a federal official.

Breitbart News reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for additional information about the suspects, the boy, and his parents. A spokesman for the office said that information is not available at this time.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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