Jury convicts truck driver in human smuggling case

Jury convicts truck driver in human smuggling case
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POSTED: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 5:10am

UPDATED: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 5:10am

Miguel A. Granadeno, of Carthage, Mo., has been convicted of conspiracy to transport and the transportation of undocumented persons, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The verdict was returned less than an hour ago following a three-day trial.

During trial, the jury heard testimony that on April 18, 2013, Granadeno was caught at the I-35 Border Patrol Checkpoint north of Laredo with six undocumented persons hidden in his tractor. Four were found stuffed inside a storage compartment under the bed in the sleeper area of the tractor, one was crunched in a small closet above a refrigerator and the last person was lying in a cavity the length of the tractor above the driver’s head.

The undocumented persons were illegally crossed into the United States outside of McAllen and taken to a house where a number of people were staying, according to evidence presented in court. On April 18, 2013, the six people were driven from the McAllen area to a Walmart in Laredo where Granadeno met them and hid them in various places throughout his tractor. He then drove to the checkpoint.

U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña, who presided over the trial, will set sentencing at a later date. At that time, Granadeno faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. Granadeno was taken into custody following the verdict where he will remain pending sentencing.

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