PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Wilson Walberto Clemente-Perez, 27, a citizen of Guatemala pleaded guilty to the unlawful re-entry by an alien after removal charge Friday.
The charge is a federal crime.
Clemente-Perez was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by a Pearl River County sheriff's deputy on I-59 in Pearl River County.
According to a press release, the vehicle, a Honda CRV, was stopped for speeding. The Honda CRV was designed to fit 5 people, but the deputy observed there were five unidentified passengers in addition to the driver. The report stated the driver could not identify his passengers, and the deputy could not communicate with the passengers because of a language barrier.
According to the report, the deputed suspected human smuggling and contacted the Department of Homeland Security. A special agent with the Homeland Security Investigations was dispatched. A Mississippi Highway Patrol State Trooper also provided assistance.
The release also mentioned when the cargo door of the vehicle was opened, three additional passengers were found covered in the cargo area. The total number of occupants of the vehicle was 9 including the driver and Clemente-Perez.
All the occupants were taken to the Pearl River County Jail.
Further investigation by Homeland Security Investigations revealed Clemente-Perez had previously been removed from the U.S. September 28, 2017, by the Department of Homeland Security after a lawful order of removal had been issued.
Clemente-Perez is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25, 2018. He faces a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment, no more than one year of supervised release, a maximum fine of $25,000, and a special assessment of $100.