Joint Operation Stops Human Smuggling Attempt, Leads to Arrest of Previously Deported Felon (DPS South Texas Region)

September 29, 2022
Smuggling Attempt Plane

WESLACO – In a joint operation with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Criminal Investigations Division (CID) disrupted a human smuggling attempt by plane in Weslaco, Texas.

On Sept. 25, 2022, just after 11:00 a.m., during Operation Lone Star, a DPS Special Agent noticed several vehicles arrive at the Mid Valley Airport and drop off seven individuals who boarded a Raytheron plane. The Special Agent and HSI Agents conducted a ramp check, identifying six illegal immigrants and one female U.S. citizen. She has been identified as Desiree Love Rodarte, 21, of Weslaco, who was coordinating the smuggling attempt to Houston.

The Hidalgo County Constables Office Pct. 1 assisted agents in stopping the two vehicles involved. Luis Armando Lopez-Alvarado, 29, of Pharr, and James Martinez, 24, of McAllen, along with Rodarte, were arrested and now face federal charges for bringing in and harboring certain aliens.

The illegal immigrants, four males and two females from El Salvador and Mexico, had fraudulent Texas identification cards. They were referred to the United States Border Patrol.

Further investigation revealed that one of the males, Ivan Flores-Rivas, 38, of Mexico, was a previously deported felon who was wanted in Wisconsin for sexual assault of a child.

 CID and HSI continue to investigate.

### (DPS – South Texas Region)