McALLEN — The woman known as “Guera La Trailera” was handed a 10-year prison sentence for her role in a human smuggling scheme, records show.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Brenda Yadira Gamez-Castaneda on Wednesday to a 120-month prison sentence in connection with harboring charges she was facing as part of a 12-count indictment involving herself, and two others.
In addition, Gamez received a 24-month prison sentence for an illegal re-entry charge to run concurrently with the sentence, records show.
During the sentencing hearing, Alvarez said Gamez obstructed or impeded the administration of justice by destroying evidence and demanding others involved to do the same, going as far as advising co-defendants on what to say to authorities.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas, Gamez also attempted to flee the country after realizing she was a target of a federal investigation.
The court noted Gamez was the leader and organizer of a criminal scheme that involved five or more participants and at least two alien smuggling operations.
The indictment against Gamez and two others, Adolfo Medina-Cervantez and Roberto Flores-Brewster, states that around May 17, 2019, Flores-Brewster used his property in Donna known as “the Brewster Compound” to harbor and transport undocumented people along with Medina-Cervantez.
Flores-Brewster would then transport the people to Gamez. From there, the woman and another man, Silber Vazquez-Mireles, would transport them to stash houses and hotel locations where other members of the criminal enterprise would hide them.
Those being transported remained there while Gamez coordinated with tractor trailer drivers to smuggle them beyond the Border Patrol checkpoints.
Gamez was found to be responsible for smuggling at least 25 undocumented persons, and at least one of them was an accompanied minor, while another had been involuntarily detained.
On Oct. 9, 2019, Vazquez-Mireles, 32, of Mexico, was ordered to serve 40 months in federal prison for his role in the smuggling ring. At the time of his sentencing, Vazquez-Mireles also received an enhancement for obstruction of justice. The court found he had placed jail calls during which he informed Gamez, then unindicted, to destroy evidence related to the conspiracy.
Flores-Brewster, 60, and Medina-Cervantez, 29, are set for sentencing before Judge Alvarez on March 25.
The 41-year-old Mexican woman, who has been in custody since her arrest, will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.