CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Corpus Christi federal jury has convicted a legal permanent resident who resided in Houston for transporting illegal aliens in a vehicle disguised as a FedEx truck, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick
The jury deliberated for six hours before convicting Yoel Marrero-Goitizolo, 42, following a one-day trial.
On Feb. 3, Marrero-Goitizolo arrived at the Border Patrol Checkpoint near Sarita. He was driving a vehicle that appeared to be a FedEx Ground truck. However, authorities noticed the vehicle seemed to be unevenly painted. The jury also heard that a K-9 also had alerted to the vehicle. Law enforcement then referred Marrero-Goitizolo to the secondary area for further inspection.
Authorities subsequently discovered 12 aliens who were citizens and nationals of Honduras, Brazil, Mexico, El Salvador and People’s Republic of China – all illegally present in the United States. Testimony revealed they had been hiding in the truck’s cargo area.
The jury also heard that Marrero-Goitizolo was wearing a FedEx polo shirt. However, testimony revealed Marrero-Goitizolo had never worked for the company and that the truck did not belong to FedEx.
Marrero-Goitizolo attempted to convince the jury that he did not knowingly transport the aliens. They did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.
U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton presided over the trial and set sentencing for Feb. 9, 2021. At that time, he faces up to five-years imprisonment. The charge also carry a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Previously released on bond, Marrero-Goitizolo was taken into custody following the conviction today where he will remain pending sentencing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Yifei Zheng is prosecuting the case.