Six Indicted in Illegal Alien Smuggling Case After Traffic Stop in Ellsworth County

WICHITA – Six men from Mexico were indicted Tuesday in a case of alleged alien smuggling after a traffic stop in Ellsworth County earlier this month.

According to a media release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Adrian Guzman-Rojas, 19, a citizen of Mexico, was charged with one count of knowingly transporting Mexican citizens who were not lawfully in the United States.

In court documents, investigators alleged that on March 10, Guzman-Rojas was driving a 2012 Buick Enclave when the Kansas Highway Patrol stopped him on Interstate 70 near Ellsworth. It is alleged that five men in the car with Guzman-Rojas were Mexican citizens who previously had been deported and who had returned to the United States unlawfully.

Charged with one count each of illegally re-entering the United States are the following:

Mario Esqivel-Garduno, 38, Ernesto Galeno-Castillo, 36, Juan Gonzalez-Vicente, 20, Manuel Luna-Macin, 31, and Alejandro Villa-Maldonado, 27, all citizens of Mexico.

Investigators allege Guzman-Rojas was being paid by smugglers in Phoenix.

Upon conviction, the crime of unlawful transportation of undocumented aliens carries a penalty of up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The crime of unlawful re-entry carries a penalty of up to two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by the Kansas Highway Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and Enforcement and Removal Operations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson, according to the release.

Updated: March 29, 2017 — 6:33 pm
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