EL PASO -- A Texas truck driver jailed on ammunition charges in Mexico is out of prison, but now he's in an immigration detention center.
Prison officials handed Jabin Bogan over to immigration authorities when he was released from the Villa Aldama Prison in Veracruz, according to sources close to the case.
Bogan is being held at an immigration detention center waiting to be deported back to the United States. The trucker’s family traveled from Dallas to the border, where they expected a reunion. They had been told after he was free he travel back to the border and come across an international bridge linking Ciudad Juarez and El Paso.
The anxious wait and the constant calls started as soon as Bogan’s family touched down at the El Paso International Airport.
“I want to see him, I want to touch him, and I have a lot to say,” said Aletha Smith, Bogan’s mother.
She’s worked tirelessly to raise money to pay his fine and legal expenses and has sent out regular text messages to supporters to pray for her son’s release.
“My goal was to continue to believe and keep the faith, knowing that my son was coming back to me,” Bogan’s mother said.
Bogan’s common law wife also made the trip to the border and was looking forward to a reunion.
“I want to hold him," Tanya Davis said. "I haven’t held him in 7 months."
The North Texas truck driver has been behind bars since his arrest on April 17, when he drove across the border with 268,000 rounds of ammunition. Bogan said he got lost and by the time he realized he was headed into Mexico, it was too late turn back.
He faced 30 years in prison for trafficking. His Mexican lawyer successfully fought to have the charge reduced to possession, which carries a much lighter sentence. A federal judge sentenced the trucker to three years in prison, which made him eligible for conditional release if he paid a fine.
But after paying the fine, instead of winning his freedom, prison officials turned him over to to immigration authorities. Bogan will be deported because he is in Mexico without documents.
After his arrest in April his family said the truck driver did not have a passport, never visited Mexico and had crossed the border by mistake.
“I had to be strong for my kids and keeping them strong,” Taylor said.
She planned to wait until Bogan was back on the Texas side of the border to tell their children, aged six and ten, he was coming home. Bogan’s family had hoped for a homecoming in time in time for Thanksgiving, but deportation proceedings could take a week or longer.
His mother knows exactly what she’ll say when she finally sees him.
“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
His wife has no words.
“I plan on saying nothing but hugging him.”