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Texas DPS: Texan charged with smuggling undocumented migrants, 1 day after 19 were caught

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Posted at 6:09 PM, Sep 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-27 19:50:08-04

WESLACO, Texas — Multiple agencies uncovered and foiled an attempt to transport undocumented immigrants on Sunday morning, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported.

Texas DPS and Homeland Security Investigations authorities during "Operation Lone Star" saw two vehicles arrive at the Mid Valley Airport and drop off several individuals, who subsequently entered a Raytheon plane.

Upon further inspection during a ramp check, authorities determined that six out of seven individuals were undocumented, including a previously-deported felon.

There were four men and three women- one being a U.S. citizen. Texas DPS said the American woman, 21-year-old Desiree Love Rodarte of Weslaco, was coordinating the flight to Houston.

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Arrested individuals in human trafficking attempt

Authorities said the six undocumented individuals were carrying fake Texas state identification cards. It is unknown if the names on the cards were also false.

Ivan Flores-Rivas, 38, was named as one of the undocumented men. He was once wanted in Wisconsin for sexual assault of a child, authorities said.

Hidalgo County Constable's Office Pct. 1 assisted HSI and Texas DPS officials in stopping the two vehicles and arresting two men.

Luis Armando Lopez-Alvarado of Pharr and James Martinez of McAllen were named and federally charged with "bringing in and harboring certain aliens."

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Wanted by Texas DPS

Authorities depicted a man who is wanted but did not clearly indicate his name, nationality, age or other identifying characteristics.

Texas authorities did not specify the nationalities or statuses of 29-year-old Lopez-Alvarado or 24-year-old Martinez.

Rodarte is also facing the same federal charges, officials said.

The four men and two women from El Salvador and Mexico were referred to U.S. Border Patrol.

A similar incident occurred the previous day after "concerned citizens" reported seeing several individuals at McCreery Aviation Co. boarding a similar plane.

The plane was also bound for Houston from McAllen. The 19 immigrants discovered were of Central American descent.