POSTED: Monday, April 15, 2013 - 2:33pm
UPDATED: Monday, April 15, 2013 - 3:10pm
McAllen, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — A Mexican citizen has been convicted in a smuggling scheme on illegal immigrants.
Pedro Rayon-Perez, 26, has been convicted of harboring illegal immigrants after pleading guilty in court on Monday, April 15.
An investigation by Homeland security officers, with assistance from San Juan police, revealed that Perez was involved in the smuggling of five immigrants on November 12, 2012.
Perez and another male had demanded payment of smuggling fees from families while they held the immigrants in a stash house in McAllen and Pharr. The immigrants had agreed to pay Perez and his accomplice once they arrived in Houston, but Perez wanted to coerce the payments prior to getting to Houston or he would release the immigrants in the Valley.
Authorities became involved and began an investigation after Perez convinced the family of a pregnant immigrant and her husband to wire $4,800, after which he double-crossed his accomplice in splitting the money and then Perez's helper demanded money from the family.
The San Juan Police Department, assisted by the United States Marshals Service, conducted a tactical operation that freed the aliens on Nov. 17, 2011, from the stash house.