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Justice Department indicts 12 for violence, extortion on southern border

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The Justice Department unsealed 11 indictments against 12 people in what is described as a multi-faceted conspiracy to monopolize the transmigrante industry. The accused are facing price fixing and monopoly violations under the Sherman Act and some are facing money laundering charges.

The transmigrante industry in southern Texas is made up of a group of people who transport used vehicles and other valuable goods from America into Mexico so they can resell them in Central America. There are also forwarding agencies that help the transmigrantes get the items over the border legally by assisting them with things like customs paperwork.

The indicted individuals are accused of using violence, threats, and extortion to fix prices and eliminate competition amongst forwarding agencies. According to the Justice Department, they forced one transmigrante agency to pay $80,000 for operating outside of the centralized pool they created to corner the market and for failing to pay an extortion tax.

“As alleged, this criminal organization committed heinous acts of violence against those who would not participate in its illegal activities,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement. “We are committed to dismantling violent enterprises that victimize individuals simply trying to earn an honest living.”

Investigators called the group a criminal organization. They range in age from 32 to 68 and live in southeastern Texas in and around Brownsville. One, Diego Ceballos-Soto, is from Matamoras, Mexico, a small city on the border with Brownsville, Texas. 

The investigation is ongoing and prosecutors are asking anyone with information on the case to call the Homeland Security Investigations tipline at 866-347-2423.

12 people have been indicted in what is being described as a multi-faceted conspiracy to monopolize the transmigrante forwarding industry. What are transmigrantes? They’re people who transport used vehicles and other valuable goods from America into Mexico so they can resell them in Central America. Forwarding agencies help the transmigrantes get items over the border legally by helping them with things like Customs paperwork. 

 

The indicted individuals are accused of using violence, threats, and extortion to fix prices and eliminate competition amongst forwarding agencies. According to the Justice Department, they forced one transmigrante agency to pay $80,000 for operating outside of the centralized pool they created to corner the market and for failing to pay the extortion tax. 

 

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement: “We are committed to dismantling violent enterprises that victimize individuals simply trying to earn an honest living.”

 

The accused are facing price fixing and monopoly violations under the Sherman Act. Some in the group are also facing money laundering charges. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.

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The Justice Department unsealed 11 indictments against 12 people in what is described as a multi-faceted conspiracy to monopolize the transmigrante industry. The accused are facing price fixing and monopoly violations under the Sherman Act and some are facing money laundering charges.

The transmigrante industry in southern Texas is made up of a group of people who transport used vehicles and other valuable goods from America into Mexico so they can resell them in Central America. There are also forwarding agencies that help the transmigrantes get the items over the border legally by assisting them with things like customs paperwork.

The indicted individuals are accused of using violence, threats, and extortion to fix prices and eliminate competition amongst forwarding agencies. According to the Justice Department, they forced one transmigrante agency to pay $80,000 for operating outside of the centralized pool they created to corner the market and for failing to pay an extortion tax.

“As alleged, this criminal organization committed heinous acts of violence against those who would not participate in its illegal activities,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement. “We are committed to dismantling violent enterprises that victimize individuals simply trying to earn an honest living.”

Investigators called the group a criminal organization. They range in age from 32 to 68 and live in southeastern Texas in and around Brownsville. One, Diego Ceballos-Soto, is from Matamoras, Mexico, a small city on the border with Brownsville, Texas. 

The investigation is ongoing and prosecutors are asking anyone with information on the case to call the Homeland Security Investigations tipline at 866-347-2423.

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