DEL RIO – A Mexican national was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for illegally transporting an unaccompanied child from Mexico.
According to evidence presented at trial, on July 30, 2019, Victor Manuel Monsivais, 67, was apprehended at 1 a.m. in an HEB parking lot in south San Antonio transporting an unaccompanied 8-year-old child from Mexico. Monsivais intended to give the child back to another person involved in smuggling the child from Mexico into the United States. Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as well as officers from the San Antonio Police Department, were waiting for Monsivais at the HEB based on investigative intelligence about the intended exchange.
On August 19, 2021, Monsivais was found guilty by a federal jury in Del Rio of one count of illegal alien transportation in violation of Section 1324 of Title 8 of the United States Code.
“Today’s sentence reflects the unwavering commitment of our office and that of our valued partners as we continue to work together to vigorously enforce federal law and protect our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “I am especially thankful for the determined efforts that went into rescuing the minor child in this case.”
“This sentence serves as an appropriate punishment for Monsivais’ role in the smuggling event. Without law enforcement intervention he would have handed over the child to a stranger, potentially exposing the child to significant danger,” said Shane Folden, Special Agent in Charge, HSI San Antonio. “This case is a glaring reminder that human smugglers are driven by greed and have no regard for the health and well-being of their human cargo. HSI is committed to aggressively targeting smuggling organizations and human smugglers who continually victimize people for profit.”
Co-defendants Elida Kassandra Moreno, 28, a United States citizen and Nery Uriostegui-Dominguez, 28, a Mexican national, pleaded guilty to bringing in and harboring aliens and conspiracy to bringing in and harboring aliens. Moreno was sentenced to 36 months in prison and a $1,000 fine on February 20, 2021. Uriostegui was sentenced to 18 months in prison on April 1, 2020.
HSI with assistance from the San Antonio Police Department investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Banister and Holly Pavlinski prosecuted the case.