ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that Jorge Garcia-Rascon, 21, and Julio Garcia-Rascon, 19, both of Mexico, have been charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens resulting in death. Jorge Garcia-Rascon made an initial appearance on July 29 and will remain in custody pending arraignment, which has not been scheduled. Julio Garcia-Rascon made an initial appearance on Aug. 12 and will remain in custody pending trial.
According to the complaint, on July 27, Border Patrol agents attempted to make a traffic stop on an SUV traveling on New Mexico Highway 9 in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The SUV failed to yield and continued at a high rate of speed. As the agents ceased their pursuit and turned off their emergency lights and sirens, the SUV lost control and flipped and rolled off the road.
When law enforcement approached the vehicle, Jorge Garcia-Rascon and Julio Garcia-Rascon allegedly attempted to flee on foot but were apprehended. Law enforcement on the scene established that there were 13 occupants in the vehicle, all of whom were undocumented non-citizens. Two of the people in the vehicle died during the rollover. All of the other occupants except Jorge and Julio Garcia-Rascon were transported to University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, for treatment.
A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Jorge and Julio Garcia-Rascon face up to life in prison or death.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated this case with assistance from U.S. Border Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Joni Autrey Stahl is prosecuting the case.
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