Conroe couple attempts to smuggle woman, child into U.S., officials say

Maria Guadalupe Cofraida-Pantoja, Amador Garcia-Canada face up to 10 years in federal prison

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LAREDO, Texas – A Conroe couple are facing charges of alien smuggling after allegedly attempting to bring a Mexican woman and her child into the Untied States illegally, according to the Department of Justice.

DOJ officials said Maria Guadalupe Cofraida-Pantoja and Amador Garcia-Canada, both 33, arrived at the Juarez-Lincoln bridge Saturday in a 2004 white Cadillac Escalade with a 22-year-old woman and her 5-year-old son.

The 22-year-old woman presented an authentic U.S. passport with the name of a Garcia-Canada’s relative as her own, officials said, but at secondary inspection presented an Illinois birth certificate for her son, falsely claiming she and her son were U.S. citizens.

According to the complaint, authorities found a Mexican voter registration card identifying the woman’s real identity.

The woman allegedly made arrangements to pay Garcia-Canada $6,000 to bring her and her son into the country and take them to Houston.

Officials said Garcia-Canada provided the woman with the documents she showed authorities.

Garcia-Canada and Cofraida-Pantoja each face up to 10 years in federal prison, along with a possible $250,000 fine.

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