San Antonio woman gets 14-year sentence on allegation she helped smuggle immigrants

Kimberley Cruz, 35, also is accused of taking $276,000 from migrants to provide those services.

click to enlarge More than 95 immigrants hired Cruz to smuggle them into the country between April and October of 2019, according to a Justice Department statement. - Wikimedia Commons / Brian Turner
Wikimedia Commons / Brian Turner
More than 95 immigrants hired Cruz to smuggle them into the country between April and October of 2019, according to a Justice Department statement.

A federal court sentenced a San Antonio woman to 14 years in prison on charges that she  misrepresented herself as a legal advocate to help to smuggle immigrants into the country, according to federal authorities.


People hoping to cross the border provided Kimberly Cruz, 35,  with packets of information, which she used when misrepresenting herself as a legal advocate to border agents at the Eagle Pass Point of Entry, U.S. Justice Department officials allege. She reportedly collected a total of $276,000 from migrants to provide those services.


Brandishing the documents, Cruz told border agents her clients had been permitted to enter the country for 24 to 48 hours to attend U.S. Customs and Immigration Services appointments. Once granted temporary entry, Cruz would take the individuals to San Antonio to reunite with family members or drop them at the airport or bus terminal to continue their journey, authorities said.


More than 95 immigrants hired Cruz to smuggle them into the country between April and October of 2019, according to a Justice Department statement.        


Cruz was arrested October 29, 2019 and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on Oct. 25, 2021. In addition to her imprisonment, Chief Judge Alia Moses ordered Cruz to forfeit more than $271,000 she received from immigrants for her services, plus pay an additional $9,900 in restitution, according to Justice Department officials.


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