Edcouch man sentenced to prison for smuggling undocumented immigrants
POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 8:09am
MCALLEN, TX — Demetrio Vallejo, 41, of Edcouch, has been ordered to federal prison for nearly five years as a result of his conviction of smuggling undocumented aliens, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Vallejo pleaded guilty Oct. 11, 2013.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Vallejo to a sentence of 57 months imprisonment. The sentence was enhanced as the court took into consideration he had sexually assaulted a female undocumented alien and that a dangerous weapon was used during the assault. Following Vallejo’s prison term, he was further ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release.
On June 29, 2013, deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) arrived at house in Edcouch. At that time, they encountered Vallejo and a female undocumented alien. The investigation resulted in the discovery that Vallejo had driven the undocumented alien and other undocumented aliens to a house where they were harbored and would also bring them food.
Co-defendants Esther Cano, 33, and George Love, 37, both of Weslaco, received respective sentences of 24 and six months for their roles in the alien smuggling conspiracy. Cano’s sentenced was enhanced because she had threatened two undocumented aliens after being arrested.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and HCSO. Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Kristen Rees prosecuted the case.