Two Houston-area residents charged with smuggling 89 undocumented immigrants in trailer

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LAREDO, Texas – Two Houston-area residents are set to make an appearance in Laredo federal court on allegations they attempted to smuggle dozens of undocumented immigrants, Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced in a release.

Marc Anthony Bane, 45, of Porter, Texas and Tara Renee Dillon, 33, of Conroe, Texas are set to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Dos Santos at 3 p.m. today.

According to the charges referenced in the release, Bane and Dillon stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35, approximately 29 miles north of Laredo, in a tractor-trailer. A service K-9 allegedly detected an odor in the trailer. The charges allege law enforcement searched the vehicle and found 89 undocumented immigrants inside.

The individuals were sweating profusely in the warm trailer even though it was around 3 a.m. when authorities found them, according to the release.

Bane allegedly expected to be paid $1,000 for transporting the trailer, according the release.

If convicted, Bane and Dillon face up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine, according to the release.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fawcett is prosecuting the case.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.