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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Cuban National Convicted of Smuggling Noncitizens in Rotten Produce

Cuban National Convicted of Smuggling Noncitizens in Rotten Produce

Release Date: February 20, 2024

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Illeysel Carcasses, a 38-year-old Cuban national, was convicted Feb. 15 in the Southern District of Texas of illegally transporting noncitizens in the back of a locked tractor trailer filled with rotting produce.

The investigation that led to the conviction was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Corpus Christi and the U.S. Border Patrol.

The jury deliberated for approximately 90 minutes before convicting Carcasses following a two-day trial that included 10 witnesses.

On Nov. 13, 2023, Carcasses drove a refrigerated box truck to the Sarita Border Patrol checkpoint. Upon initial inspection, a K-9 alerted to the rear of the truck. During a search, authorities discovered five undocumented individuals concealed inside the back of the vehicle hidden amongst pallets of rotten produce. The jury heard how the individuals were locked inside with no way of escaping.

Carcasses denied having keys to open the rear of the vehicle. However, authorities discovered the keys in the truck’s cab. Evidence also showed that his cellphone was present at the location where the undocumented individuals were loaded into the vehicle.

Sentencing is set for May 8. At that time, Carcasses faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

Carcasses was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Marck and Joseph Griffith are prosecuting the case.

For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to investigate human smuggling in Southeast Texas follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSIHouston.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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