Two men sentenced regarding unlawful transportation of illegal aliens

Published 11:47 am Monday, May 23, 2022

Gulfport, Miss. – Two Mexican nationals were sentenced for unlawful transportation of an alien within the United States (aiding and abetting), announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca, Chief Patrol Agent Jason E. Schneider of the U.S. Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector, and Special Agent in Charge David L. Denton of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.

Ricardo Ortega-Garcia, 43, of Mexico, was sentenced to 17 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Rigoberto Montoya-Landaverde, 27, also of Mexico, was sentenced to “time served” (effectively 8 months and 23 days) followed by 3 years of supervised release.  Both men pleaded guilty on December 17, 2021.  Upon completion of their prison sentences, both men are subject to Homeland Security proceedings to remove them from the United States.  If either man were to return unlawfully to the U.S., within his period of supervised release, he would be subject to additional prosecution and penalties both for violating supervised release as well as for unlawful return-after-removal.

According to court documents, the two men were arrested on July 15, 2021, on Interstate 10 (eastbound) in Harrison County.  Following a U.S. Border Patrol investigation, a Border Patrol Agent conducted a vehicle stop and identified the driver as Rigoberto Montoya-Landaverd. He did not have a valid driver’s license, but was a Legal Permanent Resident of the U.S. who had been living in Texas.  Ortega-Garcia, the registered owner of the vehicle, was the front-seat passenger and was determined to be illegally present in the U.S.  In addition to Ortega-Garcia and Montoya-Landaverde, there were four other adult passengers in the vehicle, all of whom were illegally present in the U.S.

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The case was investigated by the U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris was the prosecutor for the case.