Ex-county attorney’s office employee accused of harboring undocumented immigrants

Immigration

El Paso, Texas (KTSM) – A former county attorney’s office employee is behind bars after allegedly housing six undocumented immigrants from South America in her apartment.

Authorities claim Erika Gabriella Orquiz housed the migrants in her apartment. State investigators observed Orquiz walk out of the apartment to throw away trash along with a young man believed to be one of the migrants.

Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Ranger Division were contacted by U.S. Border Patrol after receiving a call from the manager of the Huntington Park Apartments located at 12121 Pellicano Dr., in East El Paso.

According to the manager of the apartment complex, two maintenance workers noticed four men get out of a blue SUV in wet clothes and noticed them hiding in the bushes of the apartment complex. The men later entered one of the apartments.

The workers alleged that they’d seen similar activity a month before.

Police say, at one point, Orquiz left in a 2008 Hyundai Kona and brought back four boxes of pizza and that’s when special agents approached the apartment and identified themselves.

Six men were found in the apartment, police say. Investigators claim they found two passports belonging to two of the men along with a large sum of money on her.

Orquiz was eventually taken into custody and has been charged with a third degree felony.

The county attorney’s office says they learned of the arrest last Friday. They offered KTSM 9 News a statement.

On Friday, June 25, 2021, the El Paso County Attorney’s Office learned of the arrest and charges against an employee for felony human smuggling. That individual is no longer employed by the County. It remains the policy of the El Paso County Attorney’s Office to not comment on personnel matters regarding current or former employees. This office, however, has offered our assistance and cooperation to law enforcement with any follow-up investigation of the criminal charges. As a prosecutor’s office, our priorities are to uphold the law, seek justice, and serve the community.

A spokesmen for the county attorney’s office wrote.

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