NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Richard Fischer has been an immigration lawyer in East Texas for 32 years and said the human smuggling raid that happened Tuesday morning is rare.
"In East Texas its uncommon," Fischer said. "There used to be just one well known smuggler in Nacogdoches County, and she was quite effective for many years but she went out of business."
He explained it's because Nacogdoches County isn't a place that most immigrants would want to live.
"If you check the unemployment statistics recently, this is not an easy place to get a job. However, Nacogdoches is a major transportation location for drugs and other things from the south. So my guess is that this was just on the way through," Fischer said.
For those who were part of Tuesday's raid, Fischer said either one or two things will happened to them.
"The people who were being smuggled, what the government usually will do is send some of them back from wherever they came from and keep a few around to be material witnesses against their smugglers," Fischer said.
He said, typically, law enforcement tend to keep the smugglers locally.
The suspects could likely face federal prosecution inside a U.S District Court in East Texas.
"If the person who is being smuggled is exposed to serious danger, literally danger to the person's life because the way they were smuggled, the consequence are several years in prison," Fischer said.
Federal authorities said now drug smugglers are shifting to human smuggling for profits and authorities are now trying to target those networks that are moving people across the border.