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Press Release

Human Smuggler Sentenced in Conspiracy that Resulted in Death of Two

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 22 year-old undocumented alien from Mexico has been sentenced for his conviction of conspiracy to transport undocumented aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Amurabi Medina-Cruz pleaded guilty Oct. 19, 2015.

Today, U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey handed Medina-Cruz a total of 71 months in prison for the alien smuggling conviction. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison. At the hearing, the court noted the need to impose a sentence that would deter not only the defendant, but others considering engaging in similar conduct to include evading law enforcement.

On Dec. 3, 2014, Border Patrol (BP) agents learned of several individuals running from the brush and entering a green Tahoe on U.S. Highway 285. A witness told the agents the Tahoe was headed eastbound on Highway 285 towards Highway 77. A BP unit located the vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Median-Cruz pulled to the shoulder of the road, as though attempting to stop, but suddenly accelerated northbound onto Highway 77. 

A second BP unit appeared on the scene. Medina-Cruz noticed it and once again attempted to pull off onto the shoulder of the highway. Due to his excessive speed, the vehicle rolled over several times and ejecting several of the occupants. 

A total of eight individuals were transported to a nearby hospital for observation and treatment, two of whom later died as a result of their injuries.  

Medina-Cruz will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of BP. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Justin Martin prosecuted the case. AUSA Elsa Salinas handled the sentencing.


Updated January 20, 2016

Human Smuggling