An attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas, who was federally appointed and licensed as a magistrate in 2003 was arrested on Aug. 13 on accusations of smuggling illegal aliens and resisting arrest, according to police.
Jimmy Fullen, a deputy constable of Galveston County, announced the arrest of Timothy Daniel Japhet in an Aug. 20 press statement on Facebook, along with pictures of the attorney and four men he allegedly smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“A licensed Texas attorney and federally appointed immigration magistrate was recently arrested in Kinney County, Texas, for smuggling of a human and resisting arrest,” Fullen wrote.
Japhet was not identified in the release, but Fullen’s post included a photo of his law license, which indicated he was licensed in May 2003. In other pictures, it appears the attorney transported the four illegal immigrants in a black 2018 model four-door BMW.
A unit spotted Japhet speeding in an area that is often used by smugglers who try to circumvent an interior border patrol checkpoint, Click 2 Houston reported.
The vehicle chase and arrest involved a state trooper and a Galveston County Precinct 2 deputy constable who was working in the area as part of Operation Lone Star (OLS).
The state’s initiative was launched in March 2021 as a response to a massive rise in illegal immigration. Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) beefed up the number of state troopers on border roads to intercept smuggling operations and Texas National Guardsmen to augment security and observation along the border.
So far, OLS has led to the arrest of nearly 300,000 illegal aliens, 18,700 criminals, 16,000 felony charges, as well as the seizure of 326 million deadly doses of fentanyl and transportation of numerous busloads of illegal aliens to Washington and New York City, according to data obtained by The Texan.
Inbox: @GovAbbott provided the latest Operation Lone Star numbers:
– 296,000 illegal aliens arrested
– 18,700 criminals arrested
– 16,000 felony charges
– 326 million deadly doses of fentanyl seized
– 7,000 bussed to D.C. and 900 bussed to NYC
— Hayden Sparks (@HaydenJSparks) August 19, 2022
Upon Japhet’s arrest, he claimed that he picked up hitchhikers and started speeding upon feeling uneasy with the four men in his car, further explaining that he wanted to get law enforcement’s attention by speeding, hoping to get pulled over.
“I stopped to let my dog take a [expletive] and a guy walked up and asked for a ride to his job site,” Japhet said, Click 2 Houston reported. “Then three other guys jumped in the backseat.”
However, Fullen was skeptical of the attorney’s claims that he intended to be stopped by law enforcement, pointing out he passed several border agents who had another car stopped as part of a human smuggling investigation.
“Why didn’t you simply pull up alongside them and tell them, ‘hey guys, I need help,'” Fullen questioned. “Instead, he went past them at a high rate of speed and just kept on going.”
According to the State Bar of Texas website, Japhet’s specifications as an attorney do not list immigration as one of his practice areas.
After his arrest, Japhet was reportedly held for six days before being released on a $40,000 bond, KIITV reported. He was charged with four counts of human smuggling.