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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mexican Man Receives Significant Sentence in Alien Death Case

LAREDO, Texas – A 25-year-old man from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has been ordered to prison following his conviction of conspiracy to transport aliens which resulted in death, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Omar Gonzalez-Herrera pleaded guilty on Dec. 4, 2017.

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered Gonzalez-Herrera to serve a 121-month term of imprisonment. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his sentence.

On Aug. 2, 2017, law enforcement found footprints near the Rio Grande River in Laredo which led them to a group of 14 people suspected of illegally being in the country. After following the prints, they encountered a group of fourteen persons. They also found a Glock handgun nearby on the ground. Upon further investigation, authorities learned the aliens had just crossed into the country via the Rio Grande River. They identified Gonzalez-Herrera as the foot guide.

Gonzalez-Herrera later admitted he was in fact the foot guide and that the Glock handgun was his. He was carrying it within his waist-band when he led the other aliens into the United States. He stated he was to be paid $1,500.

While crossing the river, three people died. All had been swept away by the current of the river and drowned. One of the victims was a child.

Gonzalez-Herrera has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation along with Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher dos Santos prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Human Smuggling
Component(s): 
Updated April 27, 2018