Fort Hood soldiers caught smuggling in Texas, says federal government

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Two soldiers from Fort Hood have been caught smuggling undocumented immigrants across Texas, officials said.

Two soldiers from Fort Hood have been caught smuggling undocumented immigrants in South Texas, according to the Department of Justice.

Soldiers on active duty wore their army uniforms and acted as if they were on official duty when they pulled up to a border patrol checkpoint in Hebronville on Sunday morning.

Emmanuel Oppongagyare, 20, told officers he and his comrade-in-arms Ralph Gregory Saint-Joie, 18, were on their way to San Antonio from Zapata, Mexico, according to a Justice Department statement.

Border patrol removed the men for further inspection and officers found two people inside the trunk of the car, both of Mexican nationality.

Money was apparently the motivation for the soldiers, according to prosecutors Oppongagyare and Saint-Joie “expected to receive an undetermined amount of money” to transport their passengers from McAllen to San Antonio.

The soldiers were also ordered to wear their uniforms “in order to avoid being questioned by the authorities,” the statement said.

They were due to make their first court appearance on Tuesday.

If found guilty of trafficking in foreigners, Oppongagyare and Saint-Joie could face up to 10 years in prison and face a fine of $ 250,000.

Border patrol and internal security investigations are still investigating the case.

Mitchell Willetts is a real-time reporter covering the Carolinas for McClatchy. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and is passionate about the outdoors.


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