RGC woman who tried to smuggle girl from Ecuador pleads guilty

A Rio Grande City woman pleaded true to bringing in and harboring a child who did not have legal status to be in the United States, court records show.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane accepted a guilty plea from Priscilla Posada on Tuesday during a re-arraignment hearing in which the woman accepted responsibility for her role in attempting to bring into the U.S. a child from Ecuador on Sept. 1, records show.

Posada admitted she used the U.S. birth certificate of her own daughter to attempt to deceive U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of entry in Rio Grande City.

On Sept. 1, Posada arrived at the port of entry from Mexico inside a vehicle that contained a minor child about 6 years old, who she tried to pass off as her child but was later determined to be a girl from Ecuador.

“…Posada was willing to provide information without an attorney present. Posada said she intentionally presented her real daughter’s valid birth certificate to CBPOs during the inspection and questioning at the Port of Entry to make it seem that the Ecuadoran child was her biological child,” the complaint against Posada read. “Posada said she made no effort to alert CBPOs that the child in the vehicle was not really hers because she intended to smuggle the child into the United States.”

The 33-year-old woman said she made an agreement with an unidentified man in Mexico to smuggle the child into the country.

Posada was to transport the child from Mexico into the U.S. in an effort to reunite the child with her relatives in Pennsylvania in exchange for $5,000, the court documents show.

“Posada said she knew that what she was doing was illegal but that she needed the money,” the complaint read. “Posada said she knew the child was ‘illegal’ because (she) had made a previous agreement with this unidentified subject to smuggle a different undocumented child through the Rio Grande City, Texas Port of Entry in July 2019, also in exchange for money; Posada said she was successful on that occasion.”

By pleading true Tuesday, Posada avoids a federal jury trial, records show.

Posada, who will remain in federal custody pending her sentencing hearing, is expected back before Crane for her sentencing hearing, at a date that has yet to be determined.