Corpus Christi Federal Jury Finds Defendants Guilty of Human Smuggling

A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts against two Houston men for contract to transport an undocumented immigrant unlawfully.

It took approximately 90 minutes for the jury to deliberated and convict Reuben Stafford, 47, and Reginald Lewis, 31.

The jury heard that at approximately 9:15 a.m. on May 29, authorities at the Javier Vega Border Patrol (BP) Checkpoint in Sarita observed a truck hauling an empty boat trailer.

Testimony revealed that authorities suspected he was smuggling contraband through the inter-coastal waterway and followed Lewis to the Port Aransas boat docks.

There, they observed Stafford arrive at the dock in a boat along with an undocumented immigrant.

Both men, along with the immigrant, attempted to flee the Corpus Christi area. However, law enforcement quickly arrested them at the docks.

The jury heard a confession Stafford had made with the defendant then changing his mind on the confession denying responsibility.

The jury found them guilty as charged after the case ended.

Their sentencing date was set for March 13, 2020.

Both Stafford and Lewis face up to ten years in federal prison, along with a maximum of $250,000 possible fine.