Two Mexican nationals have pleaded guilty in federal court for transporting illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin on Monday. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement‘s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Putnam County, W. Va. Sheriff’s Department.
Miguel Marquez-Jimenez, 25, and Sergio Morales-Jimenez, 20, both from Mexico admitted they transported illegal aliens from Houston, Texas to West Virginia. According to court documents, on April 5, 2012, Marquez-Jimenez and Morales-Jimenez participated together in transporting 14 illegal aliens in a Nissan Armada vehicle from Houston to Putnam County, W. Va. They were enroute to New Jersey.
Each defendant faces up to five years in prison when sentenced September 24, 2012 by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers. Both are also subject to administrative removal proceedings when their sentence is discharged.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the second largest investigative agency in the federal government. Created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, ICE now has more than 20,000 employees in offices in all 50 states and 47 foreign countries.