A 47-year-old Mexican national who resided in McAllen and Houston pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Victoria to transportation conspiracy, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.
Humberto Ramirez-Santos admitted to his involvement in a conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants between October 2011 and July 2017. The immigration smuggling organization brought people in from multiple countries, including China, Russia, India, Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.
Ages of those smuggled into the country ranged from toddlers to the elderly but were mostly young adults, according to the news release.
At the hearing Monday, the court heard that smuggling trips were taken every week and the total number of people transported is incalculable. Ramirez-Santos provided those undocumented immigrants to be smuggled through his contacts in Mexico.
He also trained the young members of the organization in how to do counter-surveillance and instructed younger family members in how to move those immigrants.
Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey accepted the plea and has set sentencing for Oct. 1. Ramirez-Santos faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine. Ramirez-Santos was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Border Patrol and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patti Hubert Booth is prosecuting the case.