HARLINGEN, Texas — The Division of Justice has introduced the unsealing of an 11-count indictment charging 12 people in a long-running, multifaceted conspiracy to monopolize the transmigrante forwarding trade within the Los Indios border area close to Harlingen and Brownsville following an investigation carried out by Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Transmigrantes are people who transport used automobiles and different items from the US by Mexico for resale in Central America. Transmigrante forwarding businesses are companies that present providers to transmigrante shoppers, together with serving to these shoppers full the customs paperwork required to export automobiles into Mexico.
In response to the indictment, Carlos Favian Martinez, 36, of Mission; Marco Antonio Medina, 32, Rigoberto Brown, 38, and Miguel Hipolito Caballero Aupart, 70, all of Brownsville; Pedro Antonio Calvillo Hernandez, 47, Tamaulipas, Mexico; Roberto Garcia Villareal, 56, San Benito; Sandra Guerra Medina, 68, Rancho Viejo; and Mireya Miranda, 56, La Feria, conspired to repair costs and allocate the marketplace for transmigrante providers in violation of Part 1 of the Sherman Act. Additionally they allegedly conspired to monopolize the identical market in violation of Part 2 of the Sherman Act. The indictment alleges they carried out price-fixing agreements and created a centralized entity referred to as “the pool” to gather and divide revenues.
Transmigrante company homeowners and trade individuals who refused to cost the fastened costs, pay into the pool or pay an extortion tax had been subjected to threats, intimidation and acts of violence in opposition to themselves and their households, staff, associates and companies, based on the costs.
Martinez, Medina, Calvillo and Garcia, together with Diego Ceballos-Soto, 48, of Matamoros, Mexico, and Carlos Yzaguirre, 63, of Mission, had been additionally charged with one depend of conspiracy to intervene with commerce by extortion. The indictment alleges a number of violent acts perpetrated in opposition to transmigrante trade individuals and people intently related to them who disrupted the scheme or refused to pay the extortion charges. Martinez, Ceballos-Soto and Yzaguirre had been additionally charged with one depend of interference in commerce by extortion. They allegedly compelled one transmigrante company proprietor to pay greater than $80,000 for working exterior of the pool and failing to pay the extortion tax.
Lastly, Martinez, Medina, Calvillo, Ceballos-Soto and Yzaguirre, together with Juan Hector Ramirez Avila, 32, and Jose de Jesus Tapia Fernandez, 44, each of Brownsville, had been charged with cash laundering conspiracy and substantive counts of cash laundering associated to the underlying scheme.
“This case is additional proof that organized crime is lively and negatively impacting our communities,” stated Appearing Particular Agent in Cost Craig Larrabee of HSI San Antonio. “These violent legal organizations monopolized the transmigrante trade through the use of acts of violence, threats and even extortion. HSI employs a full vary of legislation enforcement strategies and cross-border authorities to fight this egregious legal exercise. HSI and its legislation enforcement companions are dedicated to dismantling organized crime by eliminating their corrupt affect in our communities and defending our nation’s borders.”
“The indictment fees that defendants monopolized an trade by horrific violence and threats of violence,” stated Assistant Legal professional Common Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Division’s Antitrust Division. “The division will use all of the instruments at its disposal — together with Part 2 of the Sherman Act — to focus on anticompetitive conduct that undermines our nation’s financial vitality and freedom.”
“As alleged, this legal group dedicated heinous acts of violence in opposition to those that wouldn’t take part in its unlawful actions,” stated Assistant Legal professional Common Kenneth A. Well mannered Jr. of the Justice Division’s Legal Division. “Along with our companions, we’re dedicated to dismantling violent enterprises that victimize people merely making an attempt to earn an trustworthy dwelling.”
“The costs introduced at present display our workplace’s dedication to defending Texans from violent crime and exploitive enterprise practices,” stated U.S. Legal professional Jennifer Lowery. “Working with our companions throughout the federal government, we are going to proceed to research and prosecute violent criminals who prey on our communities.”
“At this time’s actions are the results of the FBI’s continued collaborative efforts with our legislation enforcement companions on this vital investigation,” stated Particular Agent in Cost Oliver E. Wealthy Jr. of the FBI San Antonio Division. “The FBI stays devoted to defending American communities from threats of violence and financial crime.”
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) liable for investigating transnational crime and threats — particularly these legal organizations that exploit the worldwide infrastructure by which worldwide commerce, journey and finance transfer. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 staff consists of greater than 6,800 particular brokers assigned to 225 cities all through the US, and 86 abroad places in 55 international locations. HSI’s worldwide presence represents DHS’ largest investigative legislation enforcement presence overseas and one of many largest worldwide footprints in U.S. legislation enforcement.