U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Texas
(713) 567-9000
January 28, 2015

Repeat Alien Trafficker Sentenced to Prison After Failed Escape

LAREDO, TX—Daniel Mata, 28, of Rio Bravo, has been ordered to federal prison for transporting illegal aliens for profit, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Mata pleaded guilty Feb. 28, 2014.

Today, U.S. Senior District Judge George Kazen ordered he serve a total of 60 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court noted his previous convictions for similar conduct and admonished Mata, stating that “you’ve packed a lot crime into a short amount of time…you’re not a career criminal, but a career and a half criminal!” Mata apologized to BP agents and their families.

On Feb. 28, 2014, U.S. Border Patrol (BP) agents learned of illegal aliens that had entered the United States via a resident’s backyard in Rio Bravo. Agents responded and noticed a suspicious Grand Marquis vehicle in the area and followed it to a local convenience store.

Mata was the driver of the vehicle. He then exited the car and entered the store. Agents continued surveillance of the vehicle and determined the four passengers were Mexican nationals that were illegally within the United States. The aliens admitted paying $5,000 as a transfer fee and identified Mata as their driver.

Agents entered the store in search of Mata. Inside, Mata engaged in a physical confrontation with law enforcement and fled the scene. He ran outside of the store and was pursued by BP agents on foot and through air surveillance by the National Guard Air Unit. After an exhaustive pursuit, he was eventually apprehended.

He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges were the result of an investigation by BP, the National Guard Air Unit, Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker is prosecuting the case.

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