(Brownsville, Texas) A 26-year-old Texas National Guard Sergeant, Julio Cesar Pacheco, has been convicted and sentenced for smuggling illegal aliens into the U.S.
Pacheco and two other guardsmen, Clarence Hodge, Jr., of Fort Worth, and Jose Rodrigo Torres, of Laredo, were caught in June 2007 transporting 24 illegals in an official vehicle on I-35 north of Laredo.
The National Guard sergeant was taking part in “Operation Jumpstart” when he recruited two fellow guard members and others to sneak immigrants through a highway checkpoint in a National Guard-leased van.
Investigators say the conspirators took thousands of dollars in exchange for using their position to divert Border Patrol agents so their vehicles passed uninspected.
Pacheco has been sentenced
to 40 months in federal prison. Pacheco apologized to the court and said he had embarrassed his family and the whole country.
Clarence Hodge Jr., 36, was sentenced in February to 38 months in federal prison. Jose Rodrigo Torres, 27, was sentenced in September to two years in prison.
In summary, three National Guardsmen sent to assist the Border Patrol have been sentenced to a combined total of eight and one-half years in prison for operating a sophisticated smuggling ring credited with effecting the successful undetected passage of more than 100 illegal aliens into the United States.
Meanwhile, Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were given terms of 11 years and 12 years in prison, respectively, for the nonfatal shooting of a Mexican drug smuggler occurring in the course of doing their jobs. Individually, Ramos and Compean will do more time than the entire alien smuggling ring.
It's irrational but sometimes I sense that the feds are just out to frost my cookies.