Score:   1
Docket Number:   SD-CA  3:19-cr-01570
Case Name:   USA v. Mendez-Brahan et al
  Press Releases:
Assistant U. S. Attorneys Timothy D. Coughlin (619) 546-6768 and Victor P. White 619 546-8439

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – May 17, 2019

SAN DIEGO – Luis Antonio Mendez-Brahan of Tijuana and his three California-based adult children were indicted by a federal grand jury for participating in a family-operated alien smuggling organization.

Mendez-Brahan and his children - Christopher Mendez, Wendy Monserrath Mendez and Nancy Jacqueline Suarez - are all charged with one count of Conspiracy to Bring in Illegal Aliens for Financial Gain, to Transport Illegal Aliens and to Conduct Financial Transactions with Proceeds of Specified Unlawful Activity. The father is also charged with five counts of Bringing in Aliens for Financial Gain.

Mendez-Brahan resides in Mexico and remains at large. His children were taken into custody yesterday at their homes in Wasco, California near Bakersfield and Madera, California near Fresno. All made their first appearances in federal court today.

According to the indictment, Mendez-Brahan was the leader of the smuggling organization for almost a decade and was responsible for smuggling hundreds of illegal aliens into the United States. The Mendez-Brahan organization allegedly operated in an area east of the Tecate Port of Entry and used an ever-changing cadre of spotters, guides and drivers to facilitate the smuggling organization’s criminal activities. The indictment alleges that Mendez-Brahan charged between $7,000 and $8,500 for each alien he arranged to be smuggled into the United States.

According to the indictment, the defendants used money service businesses such as Western Union and Money Gram to move money from the U.S. to Mexico. Border Patrol investigators tracked financial transactions conducted by Mendez-Brahan’s children in the United States to money service businesses located in Tijuana and ultimately, to Luis Antonio Mendez-Brahan. The three Mendez-Brahan children used family members in Mexico and the U.S. to send and receive their ill-gotten smuggling proceeds.

This case is the result of ongoing efforts by the United States Border Patrol –San Diego Sector to dismantle active transnational criminal organizations involved in alien smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Southern District of California.

DEFENDANTS                                            Case Number 19cr1570-JLS                       

Luis Antonio Mendez-Brahan                                    Age: 55                       Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

Christopher Mendez                                       Age: 28                       Wasco, California

Wendy Monserrath Mendez                           Age: 24                       Wasco, California

Nancy Jacqueline Suarez                                Age: 31                       Madera, California

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Count 1 (All Defendants) – Conspiracy to Bring in Illegal Aliens for Financial Gain; to Transport Illegal Aliens and to Conduct Financial Transactions with Proceeds of Specified Unlawful Activity – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 371 and Title 18 U.S.C. Section 2 –Aiding and Abetting.

Maximum penalty: Five (5) years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine

Counts 2-6 (Luis Antonio Mendez-Brahan) - Bringing in Aliens for Financial Gain: - Title 8, U.S.C., Section 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii) and Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2 -  Aiding and Abetting.

Maximum penalty: Each count carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three (3) years and a maximum of ten (10) years for the first or second violation.  Any additional violations carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five (5) years and a maximum of fifteen (15) years,

AGENCY

United States Border Patrol

San Diego Sector/El Cajon Station Intelligence Team

United States Border Patrol -BORTAC – Special Operations Division

*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1U-ZyroIlRa7TdW2CJQV_crM2T3Tl0B5KJPhoZR0sGvg/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2021-05-06 07:16:26 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
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