Suspect in smuggling operation that involved active duty soldiers sentenced
A federal judge sentenced a Houston man to nearly two years in prison for conspiring with a Harlingen man and active duty soldiers stationed at Fort Hood to smuggle undocumented immigrants north throughout the country.
U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera sentenced Victoriano Zamora-Jasso, 54, to 21 months in prison, the United States Attorney Office, Southern District of Texas, announced in a press release.
Zamora-Jasso, an undocumented immigrant, is expected to be deported after serving his sentence.
According to the indictment, Zamora-Jasso began supplying undocumented immigrants to Arnold Gracia, 48, of Harlingen, in early 2014. Gracia would transport them through the Sarita checkpoint and recruited four active duty soldiers stationed at Fort Hood to transport the undocumented immigrants further north, according to the USAO.
Between March and September 2014, the soldiers would hide the undocumented immigrants under military gear and made many successful trips throughout the course of the conspiracy, according to the press release.
Those soldiers have already been sentenced.
Brandon Troy Robbins, 24, of San Antonio, was sentenced to 20 months in prison. Eric Alexander Rodriguez, 25, of Odem, was sentenced to a year in prison, and Christopher David Wix, 24, of Abilene, and Yashira Perez-Morales, 28, of Watertown, New York, were sentenced to a year and one day in prison, according to the USAO. Those sentences were handed down in 2015 and 2016.
Gracia was sentenced to a little more than six years in prison for his role.
As for Zamora-Jasso, he pleaded guilty on Jan. 29 on the eve of jury selection and will remain in custody pending transfer to the Bureau of Prisons, according to the press release.