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Katy Man Sentenced for Attempting to Smuggle Immigrants, Hidden in Furniture, into U.S.


May 22, 2019

By Jennifer Miko

On Monday, Yabar Ayan Portes-Arevalo, Katy, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for attempting to smuggle six illegal immigrants into the U.S.

In Corpus Christi Monday, Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey handed down the almost two-year sentence to Portes-Arevalo. At the hearing, the court found Portes-Arevalo endangered the lives of the people he was smuggling. As a result of the conviction, Portes-Arevalo could potentially lose his status as a legal permanent resident here too.

Crossing the Border

Last December, 23-year-old Portes-Arevalo was stopped at the Border Patrol checkpoint near Sarita and Baffin Bay, about 60 miles southeast of Corpus Christi. In the back of his F-150 pickup truck, he was transporting a couch and dresser wrapped in plastic.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, Portes-Arevalo became visibly nervous during the routine inspection. That led Border Patrol to conduct an x-ray examination of the vehicle which revealed abnormalities inside the furniture. The agents removed the plastic from the furniture and discovered three undocumented aliens hidden in the couch. Three more people were found hiding inside the dresser which had been nailed shut.

Portes-Arevalo pled guilty in mid-February. One day later, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick announced that Portes-Arevalo had been convicted of transporting illegal aliens. He was ordered to federal prison. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Monday, May 20.


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