New Yorkers caught smuggling illegal aliens across the border for cash

ALBANY, N.Y – Omar Mera-Marquez, 46, of Medford, New York, was convicted of transporting illegal immigrants for financial gain. The conviction followed a jury trial announced by U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Chief Patrol Agent Robert N. Garcia of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Swanton Sector.

On October 3, 2023, Mera-Marquez and her accomplice Jose Calva-Cruz arranged the transport of three men from Mexico who had recently entered the United States illegally.

They agreed to the operation in exchange for a payment of $1,500. In the early morning hours of Oct. 4, Mera-Marquez, driving a dark-colored SUV with Kansas license plates, picked the people up from a motel parking lot near the U.S.-Canadian border in Fort Covington, New York.

The activity was monitored by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, resulting in the subsequent arrest of all individuals involved.

Calva-Cruz has already pleaded guilty to his role and has been deported. The U.S. Border Patrol investigated the case against Mera-Marquez, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael F. Perry and Melissa O. Rothbart.

Mera-Marquez faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release. His sentencing is scheduled for September 17, 2024 by U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino, who also presided over the trial.

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