Eagle Pass Man Sentenced in Fatal Human Smuggling Attempt

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DEL RIO – An Eagle Pass man was sentenced to 360 months in prison today for transporting undocumented noncitizens that resulted in five deaths. 

According to court documents, Jorge Luis Monsivais Jr., 23, was the driver of a Suburban  traveling on FM 2644, carrying 13 undocumented noncitizens when Border Patrol attempted to stop the vehicle.  Monsivais tried to evade law enforcement and eventually crashed the vehicle on Highway 85 outside of Big Wells, ejecting some of the occupants from the vehicle.  Four people died at the scene and another person passed away en route to the hospital.  Other occupants sustained broken necks, hips, and severe head trauma. 

“The deadly outcome in this case is heartbreaking,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.  “Three hundred and sixty months in prison sends a clear message that those who make their living by unlawfully transporting undocumented noncitizens in the U.S. will be held accountable. Smuggling people is exceedingly dangerous for all involved and for our communities in which these operations are taking place. Our office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and aggressively prosecute human smugglers.”

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“The tragic loss of life in this case is an example of the very real risks people face when they put their lives in the hands of smugglers,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), San Antonio. “Those responsible for illegally moving people through our country place personal profit ahead of public safety.  Driven by greed, these criminals have little regard for the health and well-being of their human cargo, which can be a deadly combination.”

On May 11, 2021, Monsivais pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death; one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury; one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens; one count of illegal alien transportation resulting in death; and one count of illegal alien transportation resulting in serious bodily injury.

HSI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Hail prosecuted the case.


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