Skip to Content

Picking Up Immigrants on Roadside Gets South Texas Lawyer Arrested

11 Jul

By John Council, Texas Lawyer

A Laredo lawyer was arrested last week by the U.S. Border Patrol on charges of immigrant smuggling after he allegedly picked up a pair of Hondurans abandoned by their guide along a South Texas highway.

According to a criminal complaint affidavit obtained by The San Antonio Express-News, an off-duty Border Patrol agent was traveling north on U.S. 83 near Cotulla when he reported seeing two men he believed to be undocumented immigrants get into 71-year-old Armando Treviño’s Toyota sport-utility vehicle.

Other Border Patrol agents from the Cotulla station later pulled over Treviño’s vehicle. Treviño and his two passengers were arrested by the agents after they learned his passengers were from Honduras and that Treviño was a U.S. citizen, according to the criminal complaint affidavit.

The passengers told the agents that they had each paid smugglers $2,500 to be taken to San Antonio,  but their guide had abandoned them after crossing the Rio Grande. After catching a ride with Treviño, the lawyer told the Hondurans that he could not take them that far but he could take them as farther north, according to the affidavit.

During the 1960s, Treviño helped lead student walkouts in south Texas in protest of discrimination of Mexican-Americans in classrooms and later became a Chicano political activist during college.