Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Human smuggling operation discovered near Tampa leads to convictions

TAMPA — An investigation of a human smuggling operation that was sparked by a traffic stop near Tampa earlier this year has resulted in three convictions, authorities said.

Federal agents charged brothers Jose Bartolo Calixto-Moran and Pedro Calixto-Moran, as well as Pedro's girlfriend, Marilu Ramirez-Bartolo.

They were the leaders of the operation, authorities said, and are Mexican citizens illegally in the United States. Pedro Calixto-Moran was sentenced to 71 months in prison; his brother to 41 months; and Ramirez-Bartolo to 27 months, a Homeland Security spokeswoman said Tuesday.

She estimated that the group, which was operating out of Arizona and Alabama, was smuggling more than 80 illegal aliens per month to various destinations across the country.

On Feb. 4, Hillsborough County deputies pulled over Kathleen Roberson, 21, of Phenix City, Ala., for driving a car without a license plate. She and 29-year-old Jessica Roland, also of Phenix City, were transporting five undocumented Mexican citizens to Immokalee.

Because they cooperated with the investigation, Roberson and Roland were not sentenced, authorities said.

Human smuggling operation discovered near Tampa leads to convictions 12/11/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 10:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  2. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Bills journal: Breakout game for Bucs tight end O.J. Howard


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's obscured by the final score and a disappointing loss, but Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard had a breakout game Sunday, exceeding his season totals for catches and touchdowns in one afternoon.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown catch with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Vladislav Namestnikov is Lightning's top-line 'secret'

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov is piling up the goals. Steven Stamkos is an assist machine. They make for an impressive pairing in a league that favors scoring pairs over the more traditional three-player scoring lines.

    Vladislav Namestnikov (90) has three goals and 10 points on a line with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.
  5. Bucs-Bills report card: Grading the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Hard to believe, but this was only the second time in their history that the Bucs played a regular-season game in Buffalo. After Sunday loss, they wouldn't mind going another 40 years without playing here again.

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]