Bakunduwukize Desire from the Congo found guilty in smuggling attempt
CORPUS CHRISTI, TS (STL.News) A federal jury has convicted a 24-year-old non-citizen residing in Houston for attempting to transport an alien, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for less than four hours before convicting Bakunduwukize Desire following a two-day trial of attempting to transport an alien to Houston on Dec. 8, 2019.
Testimony revealed Desire arrived at the Falfurrias Checkpoint claiming he had a fight with his girlfriend and needed a ride back to Houston. His friend offered him a vehicle in exchange for driving the alien to Houston. He also accepted $800 as payment.
The jury heard Desire picked up the alien at a stash house in the valley and coached him to act like he was asleep once they got to the checkpoint.
The defense attempted to convince the jury that he did not know the alien was illegally present in the United States. They did not believe those claims and found Desire guilty as charged.
U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton presided over trial and set sentencing for Aug. 12. At that time, Desire faces up to five years of imprisonment and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Desire was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.
Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barbara J. De Pena and Amanda Gould prosecuted the case.