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Laredo News

Convicted smuggler heads to prison after second alien smuggling attempt

David Alberto Martinez, a 39-year-old resident of Laredo, has been sentenced to 42 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release for transporting undocumented non-citizens. The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Martinez pleaded guilty on October 12, 2023, to charges of transporting and conspiring to transport undocumented individuals. U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo issued the sentence during a hearing where Martinez's previous convictions for human smuggling were discussed.

The incident in question occurred on August 4, 2023, when Martinez drove a personal vehicle to the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 north of Laredo. The vehicle, carrying eight occupants, including Martinez, an undocumented citizen of Guatemala, and five juvenile children unrelated to Martinez, was inspected.

Martinez falsely claimed that all occupants were a family, attempting to deceive law enforcement. One of the individuals revealed they had paid $8,500 to a human smuggling organization for transportation further into the United States.

This isn't Martinez's first encounter with the law for human smuggling. A previous conviction stemmed from a major accident in Duval County, where the vehicle he used to transport 10 individuals overturned, resulting in injuries and emergency medical treatment for six of them.

Martinez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, which will be determined in the near future.

The investigation was conducted by Border Patrol.

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