CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Covering Katy News) – A Houston man has entered a guilty plea to attempting to smuggle illegal aliens behind a load of produce, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
A federal grand jury returned the indictment against Joshua Abraham Andrus, 30, April 11, 2018. He pleaded guilty on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
Andrus admitted he attempted to transport illegal aliens hidden behind a load of produce in the trailer portion of the 18-wheeler he was driving. On Mar. 22, 2017, Andrus drove a tractor-trailer and approached the primary inspection lane at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint near Falfurrias. During a routine immigration inspection, a service canine alerted to the trailer.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, authorities discovered 15 illegal aliens locked inside. The temperature inside the refrigerated trailer was 56 degrees.
He was permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing, which will be set at a later date. At that time, he faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the U.S. Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Miller is prosecuting the case.