July 16, 2009
PASADENA ALIEN SMUGGLER SENTENCED TO LENGTHY PRISON TERM IN ALIEN DEATH CASE
(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – Frank Garcia, 30, of Pasadena, Texas, has been sentenced to a total of 234 months in federal prison for his involvement in a November 2008 alien smuggling conspiracy that resulted in the deaths of three individuals, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Garcia had previously pleaded guilty to the alien smuggling conspiracy on March 25, 2009. Today, Garcia was sentenced to 210 months for the alien smuggling conspiracy to be followed by an additional 24-month sentence resulting from the revocation of a term of supervised release previously imposed on a prior conviction.
The conspiracy involved transporting illegal aliens from Mexico into the United States via a network of stash houses and brush guides designed specifically to circumvent law enforcement checkpoints in South Texas. On Nov. 24, 2008, Garcia delivered a van to smugglers outside Concepcion, Texas. Garcia then drove a lead vehicle, a gray Ford Mustang, while a co-defendant, Jesus Rivera-Resendiz - himself an illegal alien, followed as a passenger in the van. The van was loaded with a total of two suspected and six confirmed illegal aliens.
A ranch hand reported the suspicious activity to local police, who picked up the call and began pursuing both vehicles. During the ensuing pursuit, the van’s driver attempted to pull over to the side of a county road to flee the vehicle, resulting in a vehicle crash and fire. Two suspected illegal aliens were killed, along with the van’s driver. The remaining occupants were seriously injured in the crash. Garcia escaped when police stopped to assist the crash victims.
Investigators from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted the investigation that led to the arrest and subsequent indictment of Garcia. ICE investigators worked swiftly to identify Garcia as a suspect after his initial escape. They then obtained confessions from Garcia and his co-defendant, Rivera-Resendiz, who in an earlier proceeding received a sentence of 90 months in prison.
This case and the revocation proceeding were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rob MacDonald.
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