TEXARKANA, Texas -- Two men from Honduras pleaded guilty Wednesday before a federal judge in Texarkana to conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants for financial gain.
Carlos Alredo Caceres-Portillo and Jorge Geovanny Rosales-Covera appeared Wednesday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Both men entered pleas of guilty in connection with their arrests April 22 following a traffic stop on eastbound Interstate-30.
According to factual basis documents filed Wednesday, Caceres-Portillo recruited Rosales-Covera in Houston to help him transport 16 illegal immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru from Texas to Maryland. Rosales-Covera owed Caceres Portillo money and had been granted lawful permanent residency status less than two months before by a judge in North Carolina.
Caceres-Portillo picked up Rosales-Covera in Houston in a Toyota Sequoia SUV along with two illegal immigrants on the evening of April 21. Caceres-Portillo "drove through the night," stopping at a gas station in Odessa, Texas, where he dropped off Rosales-Covera and the two immigrants. A short time later, Caceres-Portillo returned with 14 additional passengers "who all appeared to be recent migrants to the United States."
Rosales-Covera took over as driver and was pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper for a traffic violation in Franklin County, Texas, as the SUV traveled on eastbound I-30.
The men will return to court for sentencing once a pre-sentence report including a recommendation for punishment under federal guidelines. The men face up to 10 years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both.
Both are being held in federal custody.