Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.
Case Number: 5:21-cr-01375
Judge: Marina Garcia Marmolejo
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Harris County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Laredo, Texas criminal defense attorney represented defendant charged with conspiring to transport people unlawfully within the United States.
Carl Bernstein, age 53, from Lake Charles, Louisiana, pleaded guilty Sept. 9.
Bernstein admitted the money enticed him to commit the crime. Judge Marmolejo also heard more about Bernstein’s criminal history and noted that his extensive criminal record dates back to 1985.
On June 6, 2021, authorities stopped Bernstein for a traffic violation as he was driving a tractor-trailer on State Highway 16 near Tilden. They took him into custody upon learning of active arrest warrants.
He exited the tractor, at which time authorities opened the doors and noticed multiple people inside the trailer. Law enforcement identified a total of 42 people as non-U.S. citizens unlawfully in the country.
Bernstein admitted he expected to be paid for driving the vehicle.
Bernstein will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Bajew prosecuted the case.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 46-month, followed by three years of supervised release.