LAREDO – 30-year-old Leonidas Navarro of Zapata, Texas entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to transport aliens within the country, announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas.
On Jan. 21, Leonidas Navarro drove a semi-truck and trailer combination through the Laredo North Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 35. The press release said during inspection, a K-9 was alerted to the presence of contraband in the trailer.
Navarro also could not provide a detailed list of a shipment of the goods he was supposedly transporting. He was then referred to secondary inspection.
However, rather than complying, Navarro increased his speed and drove through a fence and into a field before he ultimately crashed. He jumped out of the truck and attempted to flee, but was soon captured.
The release said authorities found a total of 63 undocumented immigrants that had been hidden inside the truck. None were seriously injured during the crash.
U.S. District Court Judge Diana Saldaňa will impose sentencing at a later date. Navarro faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol, said the department’s press release.