Woman who ran large Rio Grande City stash house admits guilt

A woman pleaded guilty to harboring nearly 70 people in the country illegally inside a Rio Grande City stash house.

Border Patrol arrested Olivia Jannet Garza-Barrientos, a Mexican citizen born in 1982, on May 17.

A federal grand jury indicted her July 15 on three counts of bringing in and harboring people illegally.

A little more than a month later, on July 15, she admitted to one of those counts after reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

The investigation into her began May 10 after Border Patrol received information that 25 Cuates Lane was being used as a stash house.

Border Patrol, along with the Starr County Sheriff’s Office, went to knock on the door a week later and saw two people run from the back of the property into an open field, according to a criminal complaint.

One of those people was Garza-Barrientos and she gave Border Patrol permission to search the property, which had three structures: a main building and two trailers.

Agents found nine people in the main building and another 58 in the trailers.

Garza-Barrientos told investigators a person in Mexico paid her $10,000 to harbor people, adding that she was set to receive an additional $10,000 for the 67 people agents found on her property.

She is scheduled for sentencing in late September, court records show.