Smuggler sentenced after leaving one dead in brush
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
CORPUS CHRISTI – A 26-year-old Mexican citizen illegally in the United States has been ordered to federal prison for transporting illegal aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Jose Carols Arroyo-Secundino pleaded guilty Dec. 28, 2022.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered Arroyo-Secundino to serve 48 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, Arroyo-Secundino is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence regarding the reckless nature of the offense that described the hazardous nature of transporting aliens through the brush in South Texas. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Arroyo-Secundino’s lack of criminal history.
On Sept. 11, 2022, law enforcement apprehended Arroyo-Secundino after observing him guide approximately 13 illegal aliens through the brush. After his arrest, a subsequent search of his cell phone led to the discovery of videos depicting a person dying. The videos linked Arroyo-Secundino to a deceased person found in the brush on July 16, 2022. The footage confirmed Arroyo-Secundino guided the group and directed others to leave the victim in the brush.
The investigation also revealed the number associated with the cell phone was used to contact the victim’s brother to demand $2,000 in exchange for the GPS coordinates of the body. The information was turned over to law enforcement who ultimately located the deceased person.
Arroyo will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Border Patrol conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda L. Gould prosecuted the case.
Updated May 31, 2023