Illegal immigrant suspected of human smuggling

A suspected illegal immigrant who was prosecuted more than 20 years ago for human smuggling was arrested Thursday in Mesa County on allegations he smuggled three other illegal immigrants across the country.

Martin Bueno-Reyes, 49, of Whittier, Calif., admitted to a Colorado State Patrol trooper that he has run a business for five or six years transporting illegal immigrants.

The trooper stopped Bueno-Reyes’ Ford Econoline van for going 60 mph in a 45 mph construction zone on westbound Interstate 70 near mile marker 58 in De Beque Canyon and found three passengers in the van. Bueno-Reyes initially told the trooper the passengers were his friends, but after the men indicated they didn’t know Bueno-Reyes, he changed his story, according to an arrest affidavit.

Bueno-Reyes admitted to the trooper he had been in contact with a business associate in Atlanta named Tony, and he and Tony exchange work. He said Tony gave him two passengers in Atlanta to drive to California, and he found a third person to drive to California. He said two of the men agreed to pay him $250, while the third was to give him $300, the affidavit said.

Bueno-Reyes said he made eight similar cross-country trips since November, the affidavit said.

The trooper wrote in the affidavit that Bueno-Reyes was arrested and prosecuted in California in 1989 for smuggling humans and that he had been deported four times.

Bueno-Reyes was advised Friday he could be charged with three counts of human smuggling. He’s being held in the Mesa County Jail on $10,000 bond and an immigration hold that prevents him from posting bail.


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