Cody Michael Matousek, 33, of Texas City, and Guadalupe Levario, 38, of Galveston, are tentatively set to be sentenced July 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas after admitting on Wednesday to transporting aliens through a border patrol checkpoint in Sarita, Texas, said Angela Dodge, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Before his arrest, Matousek was being investigated in connection with a human smuggling organization affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas in Galveston, Dodge said.
In February, a tow-truck driver called federal investigators and told them he was hired to haul a broken-down Ford 500 through a checkpoint to an auto parts store in Kingsville.
The driver told authorities he felt uncomfortable because the driver of the disabled truck wouldn’t provide him with the keys, Dodge said. When he picked up the truck, he noticed a tan SUV nearby.
The towed truck was inspected by border agents, who found two people hiding in its trunk and the people, both from Brazil, told the agents they were in the country illegally, Dodge said.
Investigators had the tow truck driver drop off the truck in Kingsville. When it arrived, the tan SUV that had been nearby earlier pulled up, Dodge said.
Officers arrested Levario, who told the tow truck driver where to park and paid him and Matousek, who was driving the SUV, Dodge said.
Both men face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 for the scheme, Dodge said.
Matousek was kept in federal custody, while Levario was released on bond until the sentencing hearing, according to the Justice Department.