Six people are indicted for their connection to a smuggling ring discovered in San Marcos last month.
An Austin Federal Grand Jury put forth an eight-count indictment charging Rosalinda Trevino-Alvarez, Luz Maria Garcia-Garza, Julio Cesar Salgado-Ortega, Alejandro Guzman-Ortega, Argeo Salgado-Ortega and Saul Romero-Salgado with one count each of conspiracy to smuggle, transport and harbor illegal aliens, hostage taking, forced labor and conspiracy to use or possess a firearm during a crime of violence. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is conducting an ongoing investigation.
In a press release obtained by Andy Sevilla of Newstreamz.com it states U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton saying, the “indictment is a first step in disrupting a substantial human trafficking and smuggling operation based in San Marcos. These organizations often operate in the shadows and can be tough to break but the government believes this one was significant.”
Rosalinda Trevino, Luz Garcia, Julio Salgado and Alejandro Guzman are also charged with a substantive count of alien harboring. In addition, Rosalinda Trevino, Argeo Salgado and Saul Romero all face at least one substantive charge of possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.
San Marcos and Austin police departments were tipped of the smuggling ring by victims’ family members who were asked for money to keep the victims alive. Federal and local authorities executed a search warrant on July 16 at the residence of Rosalinda Trevino-Alvarez, where they discovered 25 illegal aliens. The victims were from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua and were being held by force pending payment of smuggling fees by their family and friends.
The Austin ICE office, the FBI, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the Austin and San Marcos Police Departments conducted the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gerald C. Carruth. Upon conviction of all charges, the suspects could face up to life in a federal prison.
By ANDY SEVILLA
Maria Garcia Lulz
Photos courtesy of Leory Opiela – Hays County Sheriff’s Office