Some cases of immigration fraud are complex, clever, and delivered with aplomb. The EB-5 scandal in Chicago that I wrote about recently, involved $50,000,000, 100 Chinese investors, a myriad of other middlemen, and oodles of federal documents. It fell apart, but not for the lack of skill on the part of the sharpsters.
Then there are Marc Anthony Bane, 32, of south Texas, and his girlfriend, Tara Renee Dillon, 33, who are the subject of one governmental press release, and Michael Warren McCoy, who was the subject of another one. Given their names, they are probably citizens.
They face up to 10 years in a federal penitentiary for their sins and stupidity, perhaps combined with bad luck.
Bane, with Dillon beside him, drove a truck pulling a trailer with 89 illegal aliens in it from Laredo north on Interstate 35; some 29 miles along this route there is a Border Patrol traffic stop.
There the vehicle was sniffed at by an alert K-9 guard dog, who in the middle of the summer smelled what can only be described as body odor emanating from the 89 who were inside. The Border Patrol agents opened the trailer and found the 89 “sweating profusely . . . even though it was approximately three a.m.” when they were discovered.
Now anyone who knows anything about the U.S.-Mexico border knows that there are Border Patrol checkpoints some 10 to 30 miles north of the border, looking for just this sort of thing; driving into one at three o’clock in the morning is to arrive bearing a dozen red flags. And Bane took what turned out be a dangerous assignment for all of $1,000. He says he did not know, and apparently was not alert enough to ask about, the nature of the cargo. Being asked to pick up a trailer in a Wal-Mart parking lot at two in the morning might have caused the driver to ask some questions, but he apparently did not do so.
In a further bit of idiocy, he had his girlfriend with him; he did not need a second person to drive the truck, and did not need to expose her to prison time, even as he exposed himself to it. She may be miffed with him.
I suspect that none of the 89 died, as the release would have told us so had that happened. All 89 of them should have been returned to Mexico, but maybe some of them were in families from Central America and thus were captured and released in the Biden fashion.
ICE, however, does not tell us where the 89 came from, or whether they were detained, sent back to Mexico, or allowed to stay in the U.S.
Meanwhile, a few miles away and a week later, McCoy’s refrigerated truck, crammed with 115 illegal aliens, was similarly stopped east of Laredo. In his case he had been paid $250 by the smugglers. He, too, said he did not know what was in the truck, and apparently had not looked for himself.
The smugglers, even if they were charging only $1,000 or so each, made close to a quarter of a million dollars from the illegals, while paying their drivers $1,250. Can we regard the smugglers as, among other things, exploitative employers?
In each case the aliens had entered illegally by various means, and then came to the trailer in the middle of the night, on this side of the border, and then were driven away from the border.
Federal Linguistics. The new administration’s linguistic changes, such as the non-use of the word “alien,” are off to a bumpy start in the Laredo area. In the Bane case the illegals are called “undocumented individuals (UDIs)” in the criminal complaint, while in the other case the same population is termed “undocumented non-citizens (UDNCs).”
In the Bane case, again quoting the complaint, at the primary inspection point a “BPA Service
Canine alerted to an odor from within the trailer” and the vehicle was moved to the secondary inspection area where same dog “conducted a second non-intrusive free air sniff of the exterior of the vehicle.”
Dogs go around “conducting free air sniffs” all the time, but rarely for such a useful purpose. But then, most of them are not BPA (Border Patrol Agent) Service Canines. (Capitalization as in the original.)
The Pacer file on the Bane/Dillon case is 5:21-mj-01699; and the McCoy case is 5:21-mj-01736. The cases are both in the federal courts in the Southern District of Texas.