Friday 19th January 2018,


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Woman sentenced for smuggling South Asians into U.S.

posted by Randall
Rosa Astrid Umanzor-Lopez

Rosa Astrid Umanzor-Lopez was escorted from the courtroom.

A 36-year-old woman has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiracy and human smuggling by bringing Asian Indians through an elaborate network that brought them through Central America and Mexico and into the U.S.

Rosa Astrid Umanzor-Lopez was extradited to the United States from Guatemala and later pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to smuggle undocumented migrants into the U.S. for profit and human smuggling in the Southern District of Texas. Umanzor-Lopez was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. of the Southern District of Texas.

She is expected to face deportation proceedings following her release from prison.


At the plea hearing in Houston and in related court documents, Umanzor-Lopez admitted that between January 2011 and her arrest in Guatemala on Feb. 4, 2014, she and other conspirators recruited individuals in India who were willing to pay large sums of money to be smuggled into the United States.


For their smuggling operations, Umanzor-Lopez and her co-conspirators used a network of of exploiters to transport groups of undocumented migrants from India through South America and Central America and then into the United States by air travel, automobiles, water craft and foot, she admitted. Umanzor-Lopez also admitted that many of these smuggling events involved illegal entry into the U.S. via the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen and Laredo, Texas.
Three other members of the conspiracy have also been convicted and sentenced, and a fourth remains a fugitive.The investigation was conducted under the Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force (ECT) program, a joint partnership between the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and HSI. The ECT program focuses on human smuggling networks that may present particular national security or public safety risks, or present grave humanitarian concerns.

(Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)
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