LAREDO, Texas – A 67-year-old Laredo man has been sent to federal prison following his conviction of conspiring to transport people in a sealed trailer, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
A federal jury deliberated for approximately two hours following a two-day trial before returning a guilty verdict July 20 on one count of conspiracy against David William McKeon.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered McKeon to serve 57 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court repeatedly emphasized McKeon’s actions resulted in endangering over 100 people.
On April 20, McKeon arrived at the Laredo North Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint while driving a tractor-trailer. At that time, law enforcement heard suspicious noises coming from the trailer. They opened a vent door and discovered 124 locked behind the doors.
At trial, the jury heard that McKeon had said he was recruited for the job at his birthday party a few days earlier. They heard he picked up the tractor-trailer from a dirt road then was given a fraudulent bill of lading in the parking lot of a Popeye’s restaurant before driving to the checkpoint.
However, the defense attempted to convince the jury that McKeon didn’t know there were aliens inside the trailer. The jury ultimately found him guilty of engaging in a conspiracy to transport the aliens.
McKeon has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of BP. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Bajew and David Fawcett prosecuted the case.