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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Alien Smuggling Enters the Internet Age

McALLEN, Texas (CN) - Federal prosecutors say an alien smuggler - who is undocumented himself - was arrested after posting ads on Craiglist to recruit drivers, and posting a YouTube video in which he escaped from a high-speed pursuit.

The Border Patrol arrested Jose Diaz-Velasquez, 29, a Mexican national living in South Texas, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

"The investigation began in August 2011, when ICE-HSI agents identified approximately 10 different postings believed to be connected with the organization," prosecutors said.

"Through further investigation, agents were able to identify the physical location used to make the Craigslist postings as an apartment allegedly belonging to Diaz's wife in McAllen.

"Diaz also had a YouTube account in which a copy had allegedly been posted of a dash-cam video of a high speed pursuit which had occurred on April 24, 2011, in La Joya, Texas. Although the driver ultimately eluded capture by law enforcement, officers apprehended nine undocumented aliens from Diaz-Velasquez's vehicle."

Prosecutors said Border Patrol agents saw Diaz-Velasquez near a "known alien and narcotics smuggling location" in Rio Grande City on March 14 and arrested him.

"During the course of the investigation, agents interviewed multiple individuals who were hired by the organization to transport undocumented aliens, according to allegations, some of whom were able to provide information in support of the investigation," prosecutors said.

The press release does not identify any other members of the "organization."

Diaz-Velasquez appeared at a probable cause and detention hearing Wednesday, and was detained pending the return of an alien-smuggling indictment, according to the U.S. attorney.

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