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Mission Woman Delivering Gifts to Migrant Children Detained in Mexico

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WESLACO – A Rio Grande Valley woman now away from her family in Houston. She was in the middle of a good deed this Christmas delivering gifts to migrant children living in the streets of Matamoros.

Federal authorities detained her after finding illegal cargo in her vehicle.

Mother, Christian and philanthropist Anamichelle Castellano crossed the Gateway International Bridge on Monday afternoon. She lives in Mission with her husband, Jehu. Together they started the Socorro Foundation helping migrants along the border.

With the help of volunteers, they got into two cars packed with 350 wrapped gifts for the migrant children living in tents in Matamoros.

Around 5 p.m., Castellano sent her mother a message.

“As they were crossing, they had to x-ray it because the gifts were wrapped. As they x-rayed it, they located some bullets that were in the bottom console of their car,” explained her mother, Mary Lopez.

They say the box of bullets was forgotten and left behind from a hunting trip they took a while ago. Crossing ammunition into Mexico is a federal crime. The family says Mexican authorities detained her.

“And instead of saying, ‘these are not allowed we'll keep them.’ To me, somebody is taking advantage or they're waiting for something,” said Genaro Lopez, Castellano’s father.

Her husband and daughter stayed with her during that detention. They consulted at least two attorneys.

According to statements made by her husband on Facebook, both tried working with federal authorities.

“Yesterday that we had one attorney, this was a different attorney. He came and when he went to go talk to him, he came back and he said that he needed so much money to be able to help us. And, it was a ridiculous amount of money, and we don't have that kind of money,” said Jehu.

Anamichelle and her family were going to Houston to spend Christmas with her parents. Now, they’re not sure where she’s going to be if she gets transferred to federal prison.

“We're not really fearful for her safety. I feel like she's being cared for where she is. We don't know, if they transfer her, what it would be like or where she would be,” said her mother.

They’re reaching out for help.

“So, I guess doing the work of the Lord has a price. So, please pray for her and your prayers are welcome. Thank you so much. God Bless you. Bye, bye,” said Jehu.

They say they have faith things will work out, but just how – they don’t know.

Mexican federal authorities have not responded to comment.

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