Four Relatives Sentenced To Prison For Human Smuggling In South Texas

Courtesy: Ice

Four people of the same family have been punished for operating what authorities have called a great amount of human smuggling in South Texas.

On March 15, the relatives received their prison sentences which was 6 and a half to 15 years in prison.

43-year-old Eva Maria Galeas will serve 15 years, 25-year-old Lisa Marie Ortega-13 years, 48-year-old Sandra Galeas-Mejia-7 years, and 52-year-old Norma Galeas-Mejia- was sentenced to 6.5 years.

$603,593 that was found in a safe during a search of the residence of Roberto Galeas-Mejia, Eva Galeas, and Ortega, will also have to be turned over to authorities.

Records show that the four were named as co-conspirators of Roberto Galeas-Mejia, of Honduras. He is the husband of Norma Galeas-Mejia and stepfather to Ortega. Additionally, he is the brother of the other two defendants. Authorities say that he was the leader of the San Antonio-related human smuggling operation. This is where he managed the activities that included transportation and holding of undocumented non-citizens. He also coordinated the payments.

Eva Galeas, Ortega, Sandra Galeas-Mejia, and Norma Galeas-Mejia are said to have taken and withdrawn human smuggling funds. Those proceeds were put in the conspirators’ bank accounts. It was then used to pay drivers, holding house operators, and rent for the holding houses. The money was also used for personal expenses such as buying vehicles.

The family members were taken into custody in 2019, and three were found guilty in July 2022 by a federal jury.

“The defendants in this case put our national security at risk by illegally bringing people to the United States without any inspection. This sentencing is a great example of how Homeland Security Investigators use its agency partnerships to bring criminals to justice in the United States,” stated one special agent.

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