Man charged with attempting to smuggle 138 migrants through area checkpoint earlier this month

Photo: CBP

A Houston area  man was arrested at a border checkpoint with more than 135 undocumented immigrants in his 18-wheeler earlier this month, according to a federal grand jury indictment that was recently released. 

Joseph Stovall, 40, was charged in federal court with conspiracy to transport 138 undocumented immigrants across the border. Stovall was taken into custody back on Dec. 4 at the Border Patrol Checkpoint near Freer.

Among those in the vehicle there were seven juveniles found in the trailer, authorities said. 

Court records show that the migrants were from various countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

Authorities believe that Stovall was hired to drive the vehicle from Laredo to San Antonio via Highway 59.

If convicted, Stovall faces up to 10 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $250,000.