Judge recommends return to prison for immigrant smuggler

Jason Allen North

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — A Whitesburg man who served two years in prison for smuggling undocumented immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border could be headed back behind bars, after admitting to violating the terms of his release.

Jason Allen North, 42, pleaded guilty in 2017 to transporting eight Mexican nationals into the U.S. The immigrants were found packed inside two wooden crates that had been nailed shut, drenched in sweat and begging for water.

North returned to Kentucky in June, and failed a drug test in August. A magistrate judge has now recommended that he be returned to prison for another eight months.

A final hearing will be scheduled for a district judge to decide whether to accept that recommendation.