Fort Hood soldier on trial on human smuggling allegations

Two soldiers, one from Fort Hood, are on trial in federal court on human smuggling...
Two soldiers, one from Fort Hood, are on trial in federal court on human smuggling allegations. (Photo by Kathleen Serie/file)(KWTX)
Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 2:07 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 3:27 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Texas (KGNS) -Two soldiers, one from Fort Hood, are on trial on allegations they attempted to smuggling two undocumented immigrants into San Antonio.

Both Emmanuel Oppongagyare, 20, and Ralph Gregory Saint-Joie, 18 are set to appear in federal court.

Saint-Joie is a combat engineer assigned to Fort Hood’s 36th Engineer Brigade on Fort Hood.

He has been assigned to the post since December 2020.

“Military law enforcement officials are cooperating with federal authorities on the investigation into this alleged behavior that is a gross aberration from conduct expected by soldiers,” III Corps said in a statement Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, on June 13, Oppongagyare approached the Hebbronville checkpoint driving a sedan while Saint-Joie was allegedly riding as a passenger.

Both men are soldiers and were both in uniform.

During a primary inspection, Oppongagyare allegedly told agents they were traveling from Zapata to San Antonio.

When agents searched their vehicle, the found two Mexican Nationals in the trunk of the vehicle.

The complaint alleges they expected to receive an undetermined amount of money to pick up the individuals in McAllen and transport them to San Antonio.

They were allegedly told to wear their U.S. Army uniforms to avoid questioning from authorities.

If convicted, they face up to ten years in prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000.

(Eric Franklin contributed to this story)

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