News and Press Releases

Mexican National Sentenced for Alien Smuggling Resulting in Death

Dec. 20, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Mexican national Modesto Aguilar-Hernandez, 20, has been handed a 57-month sentence for his conviction of alien smuggling which led to the death of a 40-year-old Mexican national, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Aguilar entered a plea of guilty on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos sentenced Aguilar to a total of 57 months in federal prison to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release.

At the plea hearing, Aguilar admitted that on May 22, 2012, he was unlawfully transporting approximately 13 illegal aliens to Houston in a pick-up truck. Aguilar was driving on Farm-to-Market Road 771 in Kleberg County when a sheriff’s deputy attempted to execute a traffic stop for a traffic violation. Aguilar, in an attempt to evade the deputy, led him on a high-speed chase that ended with Aguilar driving the truck into an open field through several barbed-wire fences. The victim was located in the bed of the truck where it is believed that one of the loose barbed wires severed his leg. When Aguilar eventually stopped the vehicle, almost all the occupants fled into the nearby brush. The victim and his son remained at the scene where the victim eventually expired due to blood loss.

Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement officers located approximately 11 of the illegal aliens in the brush. Aguilar admitted to law enforcement agents that he was the driver of the truck and that he came to Falfurrias to pick up a group of illegal aliens to transport to Houston. The illegal aliens were interviewed and provided details regarding the smuggling attempt, including that they yelled at Aguilar to slow down after he had accelerated rapidly in his attempt to evade the deputy. 
Aguilar has been in custody since his arrest on May 22, 2012, where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sam Brown IV.