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Mastermind Of Migrant Smuggling Operation That Involved Fort Hood Soldiers Sentenced
A federal judge sentenced a Houston man to nearly two years in prison for conspiring with a Harlingen man and active duty soldiers stationed at Fort Hood to smuggle undocumented immigrants north throughout the country.
U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera sentenced Victoriano Zamora-Jasso, 54, to 21 months in prison, the United States Attorney Office, Southern District of Texas, announced in a press release.
Zamora-Jasso, an undocumented immigrant, is expected to be deported after serving his sentence.
According to the indictment, Zamora-Jasso began supplying undocumented immigrants to Arnold Gracia, 48, of Harlingen, in early 2014. Gracia would transport them through the Sarita checkpoint and recruited four active duty soldiers stationed at Fort Hood to transport the undocumented immigrants further north, according to the USAO.
Between March and September 2014, the soldiers would hide the undocumented immigrants under military gear and made many successful trips throughout the course of the conspiracy, according to the press release.
Those soldiers have already been sentenced.
Brandon Troy Robbins, 24, of San Antonio, was sentenced to 20 months in prison. Eric Alexander Rodriguez, 25, of Odem, was sentenced to a year in prison, and Christopher David Wix, 24, of Abilene, and Yashira Perez-Morales, 28, of Watertown, New York, were sentenced to a year and one day in prison, according to the USAO. Those sentences were handed down in 2015 and 2016.
Gracia was sentenced to a little more than six years in prison for his role.
As for Zamora-Jasso, he pleaded guilty on Jan. 29 on the eve of jury selection and will remain in custody pending transfer to the Bureau of Prisons, according to the press release.
©2018 The Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.