Two charged with transporting aliens resulting in death

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            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexis Rebecca Lovato, 24, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and Cristian Adan Mora-Hernandez, 22, of Mexico, made an initial appearance in federal court on July 26 facing charges of transporting illegal aliens resulting in death. The defendants will remain in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for July 29.

            According to a criminal complaint, on July 22, the Otero County Sheriff’s Office and Tularosa Police Department responded to reports of a U-Haul Cargo truck transporting people in the cargo area. The Tularosa Police Chief located the U-Haul and made a traffic stop. During the stop, the Chief observed a passenger in the cab of the truck who appeared to be unresponsive and not breathing. That passenger was later pronounced deceased.

            In addition to the passenger in the cab, seven more passengers were in the cargo area of the truck. The passengers were from Mexico and Ecuador and allegedly were in the United States illegally.

            The complaint alleges that Lovato was driving the truck accompanied by Mora-Hernandez.

            A complaint is only an allegation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Lovato and Mora-Hernandez face up to life in prison.

            Homeland Security Investigations investigated this case with assistance from the Otero County Sheriff’s Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, Tularosa Police Department, New Mexico State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the New Mexico Livestock Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Rizzo Cascio is prosecuting this case.

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