Connecticut Driver’s License Helps Mexican Illegal Immigrant Smuggle In Seven Other Illegals, Feds Say

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A Mexican illegal immigrant with a valid Connecticut driver’s license helped smuggled seven other Mexicans into Maine from Canada this past week, federal authorities said.

Maine state troopers pulled over a rented black 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe late Tuesday, July 23 in Bridgewater, Maine, a town of about 600 on the New Brunswick border. Route 1 goes through the town.

The sport utility vehicle had crossed the center line four times, leading state troopers to suspect the driver was intoxicated, authorities said.

Most of the occupants of the vehicle said they couldn’t speak much English, so the state troopers called for assistance to the U.S Border Patrol. Federal agents arrived on the scene at about 10 p.m., according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Maine.

The driver, Margarito Lucero-Luis, 45, told Border Patrol agents he lives in New York City currently and has lived in the United States for 25 years even though he has no legal right to be in the country, according to court papers. He rented the sport utility vehicle in Connecticut using his valid Connecticut driver’s license.

“When asked about his citizenship, Lucero-Luis stated, ‘Mexico.’ Lucero-Luis further stated he did not have any passport or immigration documents allowing him to enter or remain in the United States,” wrote Timothy C. Taber, a special agent with federal Homeland Security Investigations, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in an affidavit dated Friday, July 26.

As for the passengers:  “All stated they were citizens of Mexico, and none had valid immigration documents,” Taber wrote.

Four of the seven passengers in the vehicle spoke further with federal agents.

“All indicated they crossed the border on foot from Canada into the United States illegally in hopes of finding employment,” Taber wrote.

One also said he was hoping to see his wife.

Lucero-Luis told agents he was expecting to be paid $1,000 for picking up the illegal immigrants in northern Maine and bringing them to New York, according to the affidavit. The passengers told agents they did not pay Lucero-Luis.

A text message on Lucero-Luis’s cell phone from that morning from a texter identified as “Master 33” included a Google Maps location pin for a spot in Mars Hill, Maine, a town of about 1,500 in Aroostook County on the New Brunswick border just north of Bridgewater.

Federal agents said they found shoeprints on a remote path in the town that crosses the border, and that the shoeprints matched those of some of the passengers in the vehicle.

Lucero-Luis has been charged with bringing in and harboring certain aliens, a federal felony. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A lawyer who is representing Lucero-Luis could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday, July 27.

The passengers were six men and one woman.

Three of the seven passengers had previously been deported from the United States, according to federal authorities.

They are:

  • Humberto Jose Lopez-Herrada, 27, who was the subject of a removal order September 14, 2018 and was deported
  • Rosa de Jesus-Carreon, 35, who was deported in November 2014 after trying to enter the United States at Douglas, Arizona
  • Pablo Salas-Negrete, 37, who was deported May 5, 2012. For the attempted entry this week, he told Border Patrol agents he had flown from Mexico City to Toronto, arriving in Canada on July 10. Court documents don’t say how he got from Toronto to rural New Brunswick.

All three were charged with entry after removal, a federal felony. The maximum penalty is two years and a $250,000 fine.

The four other passengers were charged with improper entry by alien. The maximum penalty is 180 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

They are:

  • Bramdonly Martinez-Bazan, 24
  • Martin Moran-Martinez, 21
  • Juan Arturo Othon-Mejia, 35
  • Ulises Vigil-Romero, 22

Vigil-Romero pleaded guilty mid-week and was assessed $10 in restitution, according to court documents.

Here are images of portions of the guilty-plea documents in Vigil-Romero’s case:


Each of the seven passengers is represented by an individual lawyer. The lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment by New Boston Post on Saturday night.

All defendants whose charges are pending could be deported if convicted. Vigil-Romero is also subject to deportation.

The illegal-immigrant smuggling charges were first reported Saturday, July 27 by the Bangor Daily News, in briefer form.

Connecticut has a program that offers illegal immigrants what the state calls a “drive only” driver’s license, established by Connecticut Public Act 2013-89.

Here’s a description from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles: