Special to The
A man who was discovered transporting illegal immigrants across northeastern Oklahoma pleaded guilty this week in federal court.
Alfonso Solis-Melendez, 33, a Mexican national, pleaded guilty to transportation of illegal aliens.
The defendant and his 11 passengers were discovered after an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper stopped the minivan they were traveling in for speeding on the Will Rogers Turnpike. Seven were riding in seats, and the others were lying across the floor of the minivan while it was traveling at highway speeds. Through the investigation, agents learned the defendant was paid to transport the immigrants from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to St. Lewis, Missouri. Passengers were from Mexico, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Guatemala.
In August 2022, Solis-Melendez was also charged by the state of Texas with similar crimes.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Rubens prosecuted the case.