Katy Man Sentenced for Smuggling Illegal Immigrants in Furniture Wrapped in Plastic, Nailed Shut
There are people who will do just about anything to get into the United States, and that often means risking their lives by putting them in the hands of smugglers. In this case, six people were willing to be packed into furniture wrapped in plastic.
The claustrophobic part of me is cringing right now. I can't even imagine.
The smuggler, 23-year-old Yabar Ayan Portes-Arevalo of Katy, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison Monday.
At a hearing in Corpus Christi, a court determined that Portes-Arevalo endangered the lives of the immigrants he was transporting (duh) and that he could lose his permanent resident status as a result of his conviction (double duh).
Back on December 10, 2018, Portes-Arevalo's Ford F-150 pickup was stopped at a U.S.-Mexico border checkpoint near Sarita, Texas with a couch and dresser in the bed. Both items were wrapped in plastic.
When Portes-Arevalo became visibly nervous, inspectors used an x-ray device to search the vehicle and noticed some irregularities. When they removed the plastic around the furniture, they found three people inside the couch and three inside the dresser.
To make matters worse, the dresser had been nailed shut.
The claustrophobic part of me just leaped out of my body and ran off down the street.
According to U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas, Portes-Arevalo pleaded guilty on February 18, 2019. He remained in federal custody Tuesday, May 21 pending transfer to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.