Soldiers Smuggle Immigrants: Three Texas Soldiers Charged In Smuggling Conspiracy Case

October 11, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Soldiers smuggle immigrants

Soldiers caught smuggling immigrants, have been arrested. Three soldiers and one civilian were apprehended in 2014, and charged with smuggling six Mexican immigrants into America via their vehicles hidden under their uniforms and a mattress.The foursome is facing up to 10 years in prison each.

Three soldiers by the names of Eric Alexander Rodriguez, 20, Brandon Troy Robbins, 20, and Christopher David Wix, 21, and one civilian, Arnoldo Gracia, 45, were arrested between April and September of 2014 for smuggling six immigrants via the Texas border.

The investigation was lead by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Special Agent in Charge, Janice Ayala of Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio.

All three soldiers caught smuggling Mexican immigrants are privates with the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

The human smuggling case became public knowledge on Thursday, the day the three soldiers were arrested at Fort Hood Army post in Texas.

The three soldiers were charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor aliens. As for Gracia, he was arrested by Texas authorities on Wednesday in Harlingen.

Court documents showed that Rodriguez was arrested on September 11th at an immigration checkpoint in Sarita in Kenedy County, Texas.

According to agent Ayala, the soldier was dressed in his military uniform and driving a Chevrolet.

When officers searched the truck, they found two Mexican immigrants hiding in the back under a pile of clothes including one of the soldier’s jacket, sheets and a mattress.

The Mexican immigrants stated that they paid a total of $6,000 to come to America. Ayala has the following to say on the smuggling immigrants case:

“HSI is dedicated to working closely with its law enforcement partners in all arenas in pursuit of identifying, arresting and prosecuting individuals involved in human smuggling, regardless of their position.Today’s arrests exemplify the high level of collaboration between HSI and its partners in investigating these cases.”

The other soldiers, Robbins and Wix were charged with smuggling two immigrants each into Texas in April 13th and June 21st, respectively.

Gracia appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ignacio Torteya on Friday, was charged with aiding and abetting the three soldiers in commission of the offenses.

He was ordered to stay in custody until his hearing, which is set for October 14.

If convicted, the three soldiers involved in the smuggling ring could spend 10 years each in federal prison and pay a $250,000 fine.

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    1. NativeTexan says:

      Firing squad. Aim for the nuts. Done deal.

    2. California Native says:

      If the guys were trying to be sympathetic and helping these folks, that’s one thing, but they were helping their wallets. Shame on them and a disgrace to the country they’re representing. Greedy bastards. The older man, Garcia was probably the one initiating the deal and used the young guys as pawns. He should have a stiffer penalty if that was the case. This is how people get caught in current day slavery. They get sold from one place to another. Next, they can be sold for factory workers, to prostitutes, etc. This is happening today because they have no rights and don’t want to be sent back. I agree with Native Texan, don’t waste our government money anymore on housing filth like this.


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