ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Christian Barron, 32, and Rosa Briones, 29, both U.S. citizens, have been charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to transport illegal aliens. The defendants made an initial appearance in federal court on Aug. 21 and a bond hearing Aug. 24.
According to the complaint, on August 12, 2020, agents from Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station patrolling New Mexico Highway 9 observed a sedan leaving an area near the exact location where other agents had just discovered multiple individuals entering the United States illegally. While conducted an immigration stop, agents discovered that the driver, along with his passenger, had picked up eight individuals who had just entered the country. One person was concealed in the trunk of the car with no water or ventilation, wearing a thermal hoodie as temperatures reached 104 degrees.
With the exceptions of Barron and Briones, everyone in the car was determined to be in the country illegally.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Barron and Briones face up to 10 years in prison.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Ramirez is prosecuting the case.