Brush guide sentenced after abandoning people during freeze

2 mins read

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 27-year-old Harlingen man has been ordered to prison for two separate smuggling attempts, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Eduardo Javier Jimenez pleaded guilty to each respective crime on May 4 and June 22.

Today, U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton ordered he serve a total of 85 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by two years of supervised release.

In February, authorities had found Jimenez on the side of the road asking for a ride. They observed his pants being wet and suspected he had been acting as a brush guide. However, at the time, they could not verify their suspicions and released him.

Later, law enforcement apprehended a group of 12 individuals after they had circumvented the Sarita checkpoint. The investigation revealed their guide had abandoned them, leaving them in below freezing temperatures for more than 15 hours. Some in the group claimed their brush guide told them he needed to use the restroom and to go ahead, and he would catch up. However, the guide had left them and disappeared. One person succumbed to hypothermia and died of dehydration.

One week later, Jimenez was found working as a brush guide for another group. At that time, he admitted he had done the same for the other group the week of the hard freeze.

He claimed the group had actually abandoned him. He later admitted this information was not true and eventually pleaded guilty to his role in both smuggling attempts.

Jimenez has been and will remain in custody spending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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