Two soldiers charged with attempting to smuggle illegal immigrants into Texas


Two soldiers were arrested over the weekend and charged with attempting to smuggle two illegal immigrants into Texas, while wearing their uniforms.

Emmanuel Oppongagyare and Ralph Gregory Saint-Joie approached the Hebbronville Border Patrol Checkpoint in a sedan blaring loud music on June 13 and told Border Patrol agents they were traveling to San Antonio from Zapata, Texas, according to a criminal complaint. 

“The (Border Patrol agent) BPA questioned Oppongagyare as to his unusual route of travel to which Oppongagyare stated his Global Positioning System (GPS) took him through this route,” the complaint read. “In the BPA’s past experience, the GPS direction is a common explanation used by smugglers to justify their unusual route of travel to San Antonio, Texas.”

The pair were referred for a secondary inspection. When agents opened the trunk of the car, they found two illegal immigrants from Mexico and all four were arrested.

Oppongagyare, a dual citizen of Ghana and the United States, told authorities he was approached by someone he met through Saint-Joie to pick up illegal immigrants in the border town of McAllen, Texas and take them to San Antonio.

He said he was paid $100 and was promised more money when they arrived in San Antonio.

“Individual 1 promised to pay Oppongagyare and Saint-Joie an undetermined amount of money when they arrived in San Antonio, Texas, specifically instructed they both wear their United States Army issued uniforms to avoid questioning by BPAs,” read the complaint.

Saint-Joie declined to talk to authorities.

On June 12, Oppongagyare and Saint-Joie drove from Killeen, Texas, which borders Fort Hood, to McAllen to pick up the illegal immigrants, the Justice Department said.

They allegedly hid them in the trunk of their car and began driving to San Antonio.

A spokesman for Fort Hood told Fox News Saint-Joie was assigned to the installation. Oppongagyare is a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard, the Justice Department said.

They both face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

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