The Texas Department of Public Safety recently released details on the arrests of two Dallas men charged with smuggling of human persons following a traffic stop in New Braunfels.
DPS emailed the information two days after an open records request filed by the Herald-Zeitung sought more details on the arrests of brothers Humberto Martinez-Sanchez 32, and Luis Alfredo Martinez-Sanchez, 29, during a traffic stop on April 4.
In his arrest report, DPS Criminal Investigations Division Special Agent David Villanueva stated around 2:42 p.m. 35 he observed “multiple people” inside a white 2011 Ford F-250 pickup traveling northbound on Interstate 35 in a fashion “consistent with human smuggling.”
Villanueva said he observed the pickup following “too closely” behind another vehicle while traveling at 82 mph in a 70 mph zone. He notified DPS Trooper Brian Abshire before both stopped the truck near mile marker 191.
Noticing nine people inside, Villanueva questioned the driver, Luis Alfredo Martinez-Sanchez, and Humberto Martinez-Sanchez, who he said was in the passenger seat with a female on his lap. He said Luis said the passengers needed a ride from San Antonio to Dallas, Villanueva asked him if he knew transporting undocumented aliens was illegal and against the law.
“He replied that (he) was aware that it was illegal and that he didn’t care because he was illegal as well,” Villanueva stated, adding Humberto said the passengers were “workers,” but did not specify occupations and did know their names.
Villanueva said because the passengers’ clean appearance conflicted with the suspects’ stories, that both claimed Dallas residences but only had IDs issued in Mexico, and more, he came to believe they were “conspiring to smuggle undocumented aliens into the United States with an implausible story of travel.”
The brothers were booked into Comal County Jail. On April 6 they each posted $10,000 cash bond on the smuggling charges and were released from the county lockup the following day.
At the time of their arrests, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office said both were under holds placed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but could not offer more information on another agency’s arrest.
While DPS confirmed the passengers were also Mexican nationals, it didn’t indicate the number of males and females involved or whether they were released to ICE or released outright.
Smuggling of human persons are felonies that range from third-degree, such as knowingly transporting them for personal or financial gain, to first-degree, transports that result in sexual assaults, injuries and/or deaths.