Fort Hood soldiers sentenced in human smuggling conspiracy


Two soldiers stationed in Texas have been ordered to federal prison for conspiring to transport undocumented migrants, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Isaiah Gore, 21, and Denerio Williams, 22, pleaded guilty last December. The active duty soldiers with the U.S. Army face 30 and 24 months in prison, respectively.

Gore actively recruited other soldiers to transport migrants, according to a Friday news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Williams was one of four men recruited in the smuggling operation.

The investigation began in June 2021 when authorities caught Emmanuel Oppongagyare and Ralph Gregory Saint-Joie smuggling undocumented migrants in the trunk of a vehicle at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Hebbronville.

“At the time of arrest, both men were wearing their U.S. Army uniforms,” the news release stated. “Oppongagyare later admitted Gore recruited them to pick the [migrants] up from McAllen and drive them to San Antonio.”

A joint investigation later confirmed Oppongagyare, Saint-Joie, Williams and a fourth soldier, Ivory Palmer, each served a role in the conspiracy as drivers who would travel to different locations in Texas to transport the migrants in exchange for money.

Oppongagyare and Saint-Joie were indicted and pleaded guilty last August. Both are currently awaiting sentencing. Palmer’s sentencing is also pending.

Both Gore and Williams were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Gore has since been discharged from the Army.


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