CORPUS CHRISTI (Covering Katy News) – A 23-year-old legal permanent resident of Katy has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of transporting illegal aliens inside furniture. Covering Katy first told you about this story earlier this year when Yabar Ayan Portes-Arevalo pleaded guilty Feb. 18, 2019.
Senior U.S. District Judge John Rainey handed Portes-Arevalo a 21-month sentence on Monday. He could also lose his resident status in the United States. At the hearing, the court found he endangered the lives of the illegal aliens.
On Dec. 10, 2018, Portes-Arevalo approached the primary inspection lane of the Border Patrol checkpoint near Sarita. He was driving a Ford F-150 pickup with a couch and dresser loaded in the bed of the truck wrapped in plastic. During a routine inspection, Portes-Arevalo became visibly nervous, at which time BP conducted an x-ray examination of the vehicle which showed what prosecutors called “abnormalities” inside the furniture.
Border patrol agents removed the plastic and discovered three undocumented aliens hidden in the couch and three more inside the dresser. The dresser had been nailed shut.
Portes-Arevalo is in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Border patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cody Barnes is prosecuting the case for U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.