In short: former Border Patrol officer charged with hiring illegal immigrants as drivers

A former Border Patrol agent, his wife and a Laredo man have been charged with their role in a conspiracy to hire illegal aliens as truck drivers by fraudulently obtaining immigration permits, US attorney Jennifer B. Lowery recently announced.

Authorities arrested Ricardo Gonzalez, 39, his wife, Natalia Gonzalez, 35, and Alex Lopez, Nov. 33. 17.

According to the allegations, the three conspirators were responsible for the day-to-day operations of Gonmor Inc., a commercial transportation company in Laredo.

As of February 2017, the indictment alleges that the group recruited and hired undocumented individuals to work as commercial truck drivers and paid them less because of their citizenship status. They would have been aware that the people they hired were not legally allowed to work in the United States, according to a statement from the US prosecutor’s office.

The conspirators allegedly prepared paperwork so that the individuals could obtain an I-94 permit that would allow a visitor to travel further than 25 miles from the border and stay in the United States for more than 30 days. Applicants must present another permit/visa such as a border crossing card to obtain an I-94 and are not eligible to work in the United States under the indictment under the law.

The paperwork reportedly included a letter from a fictitious Mexican trucking company stating that the undocumented individual was employed by the company as a truck driver. According to the lawsuit, the letter further requested that the person obtain an I-94 permit so that he could travel to the United States.

The group reportedly instructed individuals to present the letter to authorities at a port of entry in Laredo to apply for the permit. When the person received the permit, the co-conspirators allegedly assigned jobs to the new employee to transport legitimate cargo across the United States.

Gonzalez is a former BP agent and allegedly used his knowledge, training and experience to facilitate the employment of undocumented migrants and obtaining the I-94 permits.

If convicted, they face up to five years each for the conspiracy to fraudulently obtain immigration permits and up to 10 years each for the conspiracy to encourage or induce an alien to remain in the United States and conspiracy to protect an alien from detection.

Love’s donates $1.5 million to United Way

Love’s Travel Stops contributed $1.5 million to the United Way of Central Oklahoma in 2022, with more than $650,000 raised by employees through the company’s annual campaign that takes place each October.

Since 1999, Love’s has donated more than $9 million to the organization.

This year’s campaign raised funds for the United Way of Central Oklahoma with the help of Love’s corporate employees who pledged funds and participated in virtual auctions and raffles, in addition to Love’s contribution of 50 percent of all employee donations. Other components that contributed to the total included donations from vendors and donations made earlier this year to the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma and Urban League.

“Love’s company employees always look forward to the annual United Way campaign because it gives them the opportunity to give back to the community they are part of,” said Shane Wharton, Love’s president and chairman-elect, board of directors of United Way of Central Oklahoma. “The tremendous impact the United Way has is vital to the Greater Oklahoma City area, and it’s always great to see how many ways our team members are willing to help their fellow community members each year.”

ICYMI

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