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Standoff suspect on parole for human smuggling
by Jason Collins
Sep 01, 2014 | 1486 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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BEEVILLE – A 20-year-old man arrested Tuesday during a standoff with federal and local law enforcement officers is being held on a federal parole violation.

Details of that violation were not included in the federal record of Jeremiah Arredondo. However, conditions of his release after a six-month stint in prison earlier this year say that he is not to own weapons or ammunition, and that he must submit to the regular stipulations such as gaining employment, working on earning a GED and reporting to a probation officer.

District Judge B. Janice Ellington ordered Wednesday that Arredondo remain in jail after Tuesday’s arrest. The government requested this “due to risk of flight and danger to the community.”

His federal charge stems from an incident that occurred back in August 2013.

Border patrol agents were working State Highway 359 when they received a report of illegal immigrants walking inside a ranch near Bruni.

The agents tracked down five of the people — three from Mexico, one from El Salvador and another being an American.

The American, the agents would soon learn, was Arredondo, according to an affidavit attached to the human smuggling charge. He told the agents that he was merely guiding the others through the area for money.

Arredondo, who was born in Beeville, was to guide the immigrants from Oilton through the brush to their next pickup point in Bruni.

His pay was $200 per person, according to the affidavit.

The immigrants, who were also questioned, said that family had paid a significant amount for them to cross the border.

According to the one from El Salvador, identified as Reynaldo, his aunt paid $1,500 for him to cross at Laredo and would then pay an additional $3,000 once he arrived in San Antonio.

His journey would take time as once he was across the river, he would move from house to house on a daily basis.

“He stated that they arrived at an abandoned house and were told to walk into the nearby brush where a man would be waiting,” according to the affidavit.

One of the Mexican citizens, identified as Asuncion, told agents that his initial fee was $1,000. Once in Dallas, his brother would have to pay an additional $3,000.

His story of the travel was similar to Reynaldo.

While Arredondo was charged with three counts of smuggling, it was only the instance involving Asuncion to which he pleaded guilty, according to federal court records. The remaining two counts were dismissed as part of a plea bargain.

However, included in that plea bargain was the stipulation that he assist law enforcement.

Under the agreement, Arredondo must “fully cooperate” with law enforcement. Included in this is the condition that he agree to testify if asked before a grand jury, attend interviews with law enforcement when asked and provide any documents when asked.

Arredondo was expected to appear again Friday in federal court for another hearing.

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5221, or at editor@mySouTex.com.
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