St. Louis Feds Charge Vanload of Accused Illegal Aliens

The nine people charged were discovered in a van near Six Flags on August 2.

Kevin Killeen
August 15, 2018 - 6:34 pm
Arrested man in handcuffs with hands behind back

© Flynt |


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Federal charges have been announced after a van full of accused illegal immigrants was pulled over recently in Eureka.

Two men ran into the woods and were later caught, as a total of 14 were arrested after the van was pulled over August 2 by a state trooper on Interstate 44.

A federal grand jury has handed down charges against nine of the suspects. The other five are considered first-time offenders and will be deported.

The nine are all accused of "unlawful re-entry," meaning they've been caught and deported before, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Albus. If convicted, they could get up to two years in prison.

The lead suspect, 34-year-old Rene Flores-Calderon, is in more serious trouble. He's accused of smuggling illegal aliens. If convicted, he could get up to 10 years in prison.

Albus says the nine suspects came from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Where they were heading is not clear.

On average, some 10 accused illegal immigrants face federal charges each year in the Eastern District of Missouri. This latest indictment brings to 21 the number of accused illegal immigrants charged in federal court here this year.