A third suspect has been linked to the illegal smuggling of 86 undocumented immigrants who were found inside a tractor-trailer in Willacy County last year.
According to U.S. District Court records, federal authorities have implicated Roger Edgardo Garcia-Brizuela, aka "Mono," as a coordinator of the undocumented immigrant smuggling attempt.
Court documents state Garcia-Brizuela was identified by Jorge Alfredo Rodriguez, the driver of the trailer carrying the 86 undocumented immigrants.
Garcia-Brizuela is accused of knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that undocumented immigrants had come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of the law, concealed, harbored, or shielded from detection of attempted to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such undocumented immigrants in any place included a building or any means of transport within the United States, and conspired to commit the same, and aided and abetted such harboring.
On May 22, 2018, DPS troopers conducted a routine traffic stop of the trailer.
According to the the court complaint, an analysis of Rodriguez's cell phone revealed approximately 49 phone calls between him and Garcia-Brizuela, just prior to the smuggling attempt.
The complaint states, Rodriguez met Garcia through Danay Rego-Plasencia in Houston. Rodriguez stated Garcia paid him $45,000 for an undocumented immigrant smuggling event carried out on May 1, 2018. That event took place from the Edinburg area, passing through the Sarita Border Patrol Checkpoint and going to Houston. Rodriguez also stated Garcia agreed to pay him $2,500 per person for the smuggling attempt he and Rego-Plasencia made on the day of the event, according to court records.
The undocumented immigrants were determined to be from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Two individuals were transported to a local hospital for dehydration.
The undocumented immigrants, ranging in age from 3 to 59, were found concealed among rotten produce inside a tractor-trailer set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.