Border Crisis

Human Smuggler Impersonated ICE Agent, Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

A federal judge sentenced a San Antonio woman to 14 years in prison for her role in a migrant smuggling scheme where she claimed to be a federal agent. She also claimed to be an immigration attorney. The woman collected more than $275,000 from 95 migrants and their families.

This week, 35-year-old Kimberly Cruz went before Chief Judge Alia Moses, who sentenced her to 14 years in prison. Cruz originally faced a criminal indictment with more than ten charges, but she pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in October 2021.

According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, Cruz would speak to migrants and their families where she would claim to be an attorney and could help them get into the U.S. and stay in the country. The woman would collect their identifying documents and then take them to one of the ports of entry in Eagle Pass. Court documents in the case revealed that Cruz would claim to be an agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and would request a 24 to 48-hour parole for the migrants since she needed to take them to San Antonio for a hearing. Once she had the migrants in San Antonio, she would drop them off with their relatives or at a bus station.

Agents with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations tracked down Cruz and arrested her in October 2019. During the time that Cruz ran her scheme, Eagle Pass was one of the busiest immigration hotspots where federal authorities had to deal with thousands of migrants crossing into Texas each day claiming asylum or credible fear in the hopes of being released into the country.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.     



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