Houston man convicted of smuggling undocumented immigrants in box trucks

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HOUSTON – A Houston man is facing several years in prison after a jury convicted him of human smuggling following a two-day trial.

Francisco Javier Lapop, also known as “Chico,” coordinated with associates to smuggle undocumented immigrants to a stash house in Houston.

According to court records, the 31-year-old arranged multiple trips to transport dozens of people in box trucks marked with counterfeit commercial logos from south Texas to the stash house, where he would be waiting to pay his associates.

The operation spanned from November 2019 through April 2021, and Lapop even recruited his brother to “assist with the crime,” officials said.

Lapop’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept 16. He could face up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.