Progreso bridge worker accused in smuggling of teenage girl
Fri, 05 Aug 2011 22:26:02 GMT —
A toll collector at the Progreso International Bridge is under investigation after being arrested for helping a 13-year-old Mexican girl sneak into the United States.
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 57-year-old Carmen Alonzo on harboring an illegal immigrant charge on Thursday.
Court records released on Friday show that the incident happened back on July 8th.
Alonzo allegedly told a female human smuggler how to move the girl undetected through security at the bridge.
The two walked into town where the woman dropped the 13-year-old girl off at Alonzo TMs travel trailer where she stayed with him alone.
Investigators learned about what happened when the girl returned to the bridge and was asked for her papers.
Alonzo told ICE agents that he had met both the girl and the smuggler in Mexico and that both of them were illegal immigrants.
It's not clear what Alonzo and the girl did together while alone but ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda said the case remains under investigation.
"It's an alarming message to us to keep an eye on the situation," Pruneda said about the case.
The 57-year-old man toll booth worker appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos in McAllen on Friday.
Court records show that Alonzo has a criminal history going back to 1975, which includes crime ranging from DWI to state jail felony theft.
Although the crime allegedly took place in Progreso, Alonzo TMs driver TMs license shows his last known address off of West Spruce Avenue in La Feria.
The Progreso International Bridge is a privately-owned bridge but company officials could not be reached for comment about the case.