Three Former Soldiers in Smuggling Scheme: Military Connection

Military Connection: sarita

By Debbie Gregory.

Christopher David Wix, a former active duty U.S. Army soldier based at Fort Hood in Killeen, has been sentenced on alien smuggling charges, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Wix, 21, of Abilene, entered a plea to conspiracy to transport and harbor undocumented aliens Oct. 30, 2014. The former active-duty U.S. Army soldier attempted to use his military identification to sneak immigrants by authorities. He was sentenced to one year and a day in prison, and two years of supervised release after his prison term.

Also included in the smuggling conspiracy were former soldiers, Eric Alexander Rodriguez, 20, of Odem, and Brandon Troy Robbins, 20, of San Antonio, both based in Fort Hood. They also pleaded guilty to smuggling charges. Also charged was Arnoldo Gracia, a 45 year old civilian.

On Sept. 11, 2014, Rodriguez arrived at the immigration checkpoint in Sarita driving a truck that was registered to Gracia. Customs and Border Protection agents looked in the rear floorboard and seat areas and observed his military jacket, a bed sheet and other clothing covering the area. A further inspection revealed two undocumented individuals hiding under the items. It was later revealed that Garcia was supplying immigrants to Wix and the others, according to federal prosecutors.

All three Army privates served in the 1st Cavalry Division’s 215th Brigade Support Battalion.

Wix, an automated logistical specialist, enlisted in June 2012 and trained at Fort Lee and Fort Jackson in South Carolina before being stationed at Fort Hood in November 2012.

Rodriguez, an ammunition specialist, enlisted in July 2012 and trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, at Fort Sam Houston and at Fort Lee, Virginia, until April 2013, according to service records provided by Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox.

Robbins, a former vehicle transport operator, enlisted in April 2013 and trained at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri before heading to Fort Hood in September 2013.

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Three Former Soldiers in Smuggling Scheme: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory