Texas Woman Receives 14-Year Prison Term for Leading Human Smuggling Operation Using Fake Documents and Fake Attorney

A woman in Texas was found guilty of running an operation to bring people into the country illegally and was given a 14-year prison term.

Kimberly Cruz led nearly 100 Mexican immigrants across a border crossing in Eagle Pass, Texas, while claiming to be an immigration lawyer. Almost $275,000 was given to her for legal help with crossing the border and seeing her family again.

Furthermore, it has been revealed that the 35-year-old woman helped make fake papers that she used to trick border officials.

Cruz’s sneaky actions of pretending to be someone else and giving fake papers to U.S. border agents make him stand out in the case of human trafficking at the border. People who are known as “coyotes” usually move people by hiding them in cars or avoiding legal entry points. A “coyote” is someone who sneaks people across lines for money.

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Cruz was given a sentence after pleading guilty to wire theft. He lives in San Antonio. As punishment, she was told to give back $271,000 and pay back $9,900.

Cruz was able to get birth certificates, passports, and ID cards from Mexicans who acknowledged that she was their formal representative. As part of her plea deal, she gave the finished paperwork to border officials, along with a legal ID photo and immigration papers.

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The papers let the immigrants into the country for a short time, 24 to 48 hours, so they could go to their immigration meetings. According to the plea agreement, she did not take them with her to go through biometric procedures for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Instead, she took them to see their families, leaving them in mall parking lots or taking them to airports or bus stations to continue their travels to other places in the U.S.

The plan didn’t work out because the border agent who was helping the people cross started talking to them. It turned out that these people had a different plan for their trip than what their official papers said, as stated in the guilty plea. When Homeland Security Investigations agents asked her about the plan, she admitted to it.

Kerby, who was in charge of the investigation, remembers that border agents felt like something wasn’t right.

USA Today said that in emails to the assistant head of the Eagle Pass border crossing, she said that she was a lawyer.

According to court documents, she lied to border agents by making them think she was a lawyer, an employee of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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