Texas ‘Crime Victims Coordinator’ Busted in Lucrative Migrant Transport Scheme
A Texas “crime victims coordinator” has been charged with transporting hundreds of illegal aliens from the border to Houston over a four-month period. The lucrative operation, which employed a government van, netted $3,000 per migrant.
Bernice Annette Garza, an employee of the Starr County District Attorney’s Office, was fired after she and three other local residents were arrested on human smuggling charges. Garza reportedly recruited and ran the team that used her assigned official vehicle to make some 50 runs to Houston, a 350-mile trip.
Garza’s van displayed a DA’s badge and carried fraudulent court papers falsely identifying the migrants as crime victims. The scheme was uncovered on December 7th by a Victoria County sheriff’s deputy who stopped the van for a tinted window violation.
The lawman’s suspicions were heightened by the nervous answers and visible trembling of the van’s passengers. The deputy noted they were wearing new clothes and answered questions in a “rehearsed” manner. One of the smugglers was carrying a gun.
If convicted, Garza & Co. face federal prison terms of up to 10 years and fines of as much as $250,000 each. Governor Greg Abbott wants more.
“I’m getting damn tired of Texas residents smuggling people into our country illegally,” the governor said as he called for stiffer state penalties.
Last month, FAIR reported that Texas officials are investigating the involvement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in transporting illegal aliens around the state. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office is also looking into three legal aid groups suspected of “aiding and abetting [an] invasion” of the Lone Star State.