Two US soldiers charged with smuggling migrants from Mexico
Two U.S. soldiers stationed in Texas have been charged with smuggling two men from Mexico into Texas.
The Associated Press reports that Ralph Gregory Saint-Joie, 18, and Emmanuel Oppongagyare, 20, appeared in court on Tuesday. Both are being held in custody under $75,000 bonds.
Citing court records, the AP reports that Oppongagyare, a Pennsylvania National Guardsman, drove a vehicle in which Saint-Joie was a passenger that was also carrying two Mexican nationals in the trunk.
The two men in the trunk were discovered when agents at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Hebbronville, Texas, performed an initial inspection of the vehicle and recommended a second inspection. Oppongagyare had told the inspectors he and Saint-Joie, a Fort Hood soldier, were driving from the border town of Zapata, Texas, to San Antonio.
According to Oppongagyare, a man he met through Saint-Joie paid him $100 with the promise of more money if he picked up a man and woman in McAllen, Texas, and drove them to San Antonio.
The two migrants are also currently being held as material witnesses, the AP reports.
The story comes about one week after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced plans to enhance security around the southern border by funding a new task force and continuing former President Trump’s efforts to build a wall.