EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Authorities in South Texas arrested a man who admitted to being a member of the Mexican Mafia, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday.
Agents from the Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector assisted Maverick County Sheriff’s deputies conducting a traffic stop Oct. 2 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Agents said there were five people in the vehicle, including three undocumented immigrants hidden in the back seat.
Agents identified the driver as 39-year-old Juan Alberto Garcia, an admitted member of the Mexican Mafia who has an extensive criminal history. Garcia, a U.S. citizen, has multiple felony convictions throughout Texas for drug-related offenses and other crimes including assault, burglary and theft, according to a news release.
Garcia and the unidentifed front-seat passenger will both be charged with alien smuggling, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
“We enjoy an excellent relationship with our local law enforcement partners,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a statement. “I applaud the Maverick County Sheriff’s Deputies and our agents, who worked together to stop a convicted felon from smuggling illegal aliens into our communities.”
Agents also arrested the undocumented immigrants — two from Ecuador and a Guatemalan.