A Donna man will spend the next 21-months behind bars after being found guilty of knowingly and intentionally conspiring to unlawfully transporting undocumented immigrants.
According to U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, a jury deliberated for approximately one hour before convicting 50-year-old Federico Espinosa-Flores after a two-day trial in September.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge John Rainey issued the 21-month sentence followed by one year of supervised release.
According to a release, back on Dec. 21, 2018, Espinosa-Flores entered the primary inspection lane of the Border Patrol checkpoint in Sarita driving a white cargo van disguised as an adult daycare business. The release added that Espinoza-Flores was showing signs of nervousness, such as avoiding eye contact and having trembling hands.
The release said Espinosa-Flores consented to a vehicle search and agents found 10 undocumented immigrants, six Chinese nationals and two others from Mexico and Columbia in the rear cargo area of the vehicle.
According to the release, the defense attempted to convince the jury that authorities coached Espinoza-Flores on what to say in his recorded and detailed confession, but the jury didn’t believe those claims.
Espinoza-Flores will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.