2 men charged with human smuggling in Katy

Courtney Fischer Image
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
2 men accused of smuggling 6 people into the U.S.
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2 men accused of smuggling 6 people into the U.S.

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- Two men charged with smuggling six illegal immigrants appeared in court for the first time, two days after they were arrested.

Monday, police pulled over Jorge Hernandez, 41, and Denis Caballero in the Katy area. The men were driving different vehicles. Prosecutors say each of them had three immigrants in their cars, including one child.

Investigators interviewed the men and women who said they paid to come into the country, originally crossing the border in a much larger truck with a lot of other people. They told officers the big group was split into smaller cars and trucks.

These people survived their journey, but prosecutors say this could have turned out similarly to the San Antonio smuggling incident. Over the weekend, 10 immigrants died after nearly 40 people were found packed in a sweltering tractor-trailer in a Walmart parking lot.

"With the truck in San Antonio, the truck a couple weeks ago here on Harwin, those trucks are dangerous. They're not ventilated. These folks were lucky enough to make it out of that truck and into smaller vehicles to continue their route," said prosecutor Joanne Musick with the Harris County District Attorney's office.

It's unclear how much money these men and women paid to cross the border. Musick says it's usually between $2,000-$4,000 for each leg of the trip.

Investigators didn't have information on where these men and women are right now.

Prosecutors say Hernandez and Caballero are not U.S. citizens and will likely face deportation after the criminal case is settled.

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