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Man sentenced to 70 months in federal prison in immigrant smuggling trial

Gerardo Carreon, 36, charged with smuggling 50+ immigrants in trailer

The Laredo man charged with smuggling more than 50 undocumented immigrants in a refrigerated trailer over the summer will spend at least 70 months in federal prison.

Gerardo Carreon, 36, pleaded guilty in July after initially entering a plea of not guilty to a charge of illegally transporting immigrants for money.

According to a criminal complaint, Carreron drove the tractor-trailer to an alley in the 8400 block of Laurelcrest Place near Loop 410 and Broadway and let the immigrants out.

The complaint said Carreon admitted to investigators that he traveled from Laredo to San Antonio, but that another person drove the truck to an H-E-B warehouse near Rittiman Road and parked it there. 

Carreon said he drove to the warehouse and picked up the truck and drove it to the alley where he used bolt cutters to cut the seal of the trailer to allow the immigrants to exit, the document said. 

The document said the youngest person in the trailer was 16 years old. All of the immigrants survived the journey.

Carreon will spend at least 70 months in prison — equal to 5 years and 10 months — and faces an additional three years of supervised release after he gets out.

Congress eliminated parole for federal defendants in 1984.