EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Four people were arrested in connection to an alleged human smuggling ring and other related charges last month. KTSM has obtained federal court documents that reveal what led up to those arrests.
According to court documents, Lorena Anyla Enriquez Acosta, 28, of Mexico; Adam Isaiah Ramirez, 27, of New Mexico; Gustavo Alexis Enriquez Acosta, 23, of New Mexico; and Edmundo Rodriguez Padilla, 24, of Mexico; were all arrested and charged with numerous state and federal charges including possession of a prohibited weapon, human smuggling, undocumented non-citizen in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to transport and harbor.
DPS said in their initial news release issued on Nov. 10 that the suspects and alleged human smuggling ring has ties to Mexican cartels and was operating out of El Paso County and Sunland Park, New Mexico.
Court documents state the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Texas Department of Public Safety launched an investigation into Ramirez after he was suspected of engaging in human smuggling due to a previous incident that led to the arrests of 12 undocumented non-citizens.
Court documents state on Tuesday, Oct. 17, the Texas Department of Public Safety saw a white Range Rover which Ramirez was suspected of driving. A red Dodge Durango was seen meeting with the Range Rover at a business parking lot which was a known location for exchanging undocumented non-citizens.
DPS then conducted a traffic stop on the Dodge Durango and saw six people attempting to hide in the back seats of the vehicle. U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) assisted with the traffic stop and identified the six passengers as undocumented non-citizens that had just crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, according to court documents.
On Thursday, Oct. 19, DPS was conducting surveillance at a home and saw Ramirez leaving in a white GMC pickup truck. Later that day, a DPS trooper heard USBP information via radio advising that approximately 10 undocumented citizens were in a “known high smuggling area waiting to be picked up,” according to court documents.
DPS then began patrolling the area and saw the GMC traveling on a road towards El Paso from New Mexico.
Court documents say the trooper was aware that Ramirez was driving a white GMC pickup truck at the time and attempted to conduct a traffic stop for a traffic violation.
Court documents state the pickup truck failed to yield for approximately five blocks before a “bailout ensued at the parking lot of a Greyhound bus station located in El Paso” and two males, ages unknown, were seen exiting the vehicle and they fled the scene on foot.
During the traffic stop, Ramirez was identified as the driver, and the front passenger was identified as Enriquez Acosta, according to court documents.
Court documents state the two males who fled were suspected to be undocumented non-citizens.
Ramirez and Enriquez Acosta were then arrested for smuggling of persons and were found to be in possession of four firearms.
On Friday, Oct. 20, Enriquez Acosta signed a consent to search form and interviews were conducted and the content on his phone was reviewed.
Court documents state that evidence on Enriquez Acosta’s phone linked and identified various members of the alleged human smuggling organization.
Videos and photos were also discovered of other people alleged to be escorting and protecting vehicle loads and stash houses while being heavily armed with rifles, body armor, and tactical equipment.
Rodriguez Padilla was then identified through videos and photos where he was seen dressed in “body armor, tactical equipment to include a full combat load of high round capacity magazines, with an automatic rifle slung across his body,” according to court documents.
A video also identified Rodriguez Padilla as one of the occupants in the GMC pickup truck on Thursday, Oct. 19, during the previous encounter with DPS.
Ramirez, Enriquez Acosta, and Rodriguez Padilla are currently facing one count each of conspiracy to transport, and one count each of conspiracy to harbor.
Additionally, Enriquez Acosta has no legal documentation to be in the country and had previously been employed as a state police officer in Mexico.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, DPS and USBP executed a search warrant at a residence and encountered Lorena Anyali Enriquez Acosta who was identified as a citizen of Mexico without any legal documentation to reside in the U.S.
Lorena Enriquez Acosta and two juveniles were taken into custody and placed within a marked DPS vehicle outside of the residence.
During the execution of the search warrant, DPS special agents located a small safe in the bedroom of the residence which held two Glock pistols with ammunition. Lorena Enriquez Acosta claimed ownership of the two pistols, according to court documents.
Special agents also found several weapons, ammunition, illegal substances within the residence and an iPhone that belonged to Lorena Enriquez Acosta.
She was later placed under arrest for possession of cocaine and USBP submitted an immigration detainer for her. She was later booked into the El Paso County Jail for possession of a firearm and ammunition that traveled outside of state lines by an undocumented non-citizen.