Wichita Co. deputies arrest man for human smuggling

Jose Angel Estrada-Garcia
Jose Angel Estrada-Garcia(Wichita County Jail)
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 8:41 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man during a traffic stop on Thursday on a human smuggling charge.

A deputy stopped a vehicle around 12:54 p.m. on U.S. 287 south that was traveling behind a semi-truck at an unsafe distance, according to court documents.

The driver was identified as Jose Angel Estrada-Garcia. Court documents list eight passengers who were traveling with Estrada-Garcia at the time of his arrest.

Estrada-Garcia reportedly told deputies they were traveling from Mesa, AZ to Fort Worth, TX, and they had finished several jobs in Arizona about four days prior. He also allegedly said he knew his passengers well and they all lived in the same house in Arizona.

Court documents state the passengers all gave deputies stories that were “all over the place.” They allegedly could not provide an address or location close to their home, and they told deputies they did not know the driver and were only getting a ride from him.

When asked where they were going, the passengers reportedly did not seem sure, and later stated Fort Worth, with an unknown address.

Deputies then talked with Estrada-Garcia again, and told him of the conflicting stories. Court documents state Estrada-Garcia he had picked up his passengers at a Hispanic market in Arizona and was going to drop them off at an Exxon gas station in Fort Worth. He allegedly said he would receive payment for $250 per passenger after dropping them off.

Estrada-Garcia was then arrested on a human smuggling charge, while the passengers were arrested on Border Patrol detainers. Estrada-Garcia remains jailed in Wichita County on a $10,000 bond, as well as Border Patrol and ICE detainers.