McALLEN, Texas - Two Mexican men and a U.S. citizen have admitted to their roles in an alien smuggling conspiracy which resulted in death, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Francisco Javier Quintanilla-Alcocer, a 38-year old Mexican citizen, pleaded guilty today. Brandon Cibriano-Gonzalez, a 21-year-old Mexican citizen, and Orlando Andres Garcia, 23, Mission, had previously admitted their guilt in relation to the scheme.
On Oct. 22, 2021, Cibriano-Gonzalez acted as a brush guide to smuggle a group of 10 non-U.S. citizens from Mexico into the United States. He guided them to a pick-up location in Palmview. There, Quintanilla-Alcocer and Garcia arrived and were driving a Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Malibu, respectively. The aliens and Cibriano-Gonzalez loaded into the vehicles and left the scene. Shortly thereafter, law enforcement attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but both vehicles failed to yield and a high-speed chase ensued.
Garcia turned his vehicle in an attempt to divert law enforcement, while Quintanilla-Alcocer continued to accelerate. Quintanilla-Alcocer eventually turned onto a dirt road in Mission where the Chevrolet Impala rolled and crashed into a homeowner’s fence. Authorities located a total of seven individuals on scene. Three had been ejected, two of whom died at the scene.
Quintanilla-Alcocer was not located at that time. However, evidence in the vehicle led law enforcement to him. Phone records also indicated that Quintanilla-Alcocer and Garcia had been consistently communicating throughout the high-speed pursuit. During these conversations, Garcia instructed Quintanilla to go faster.
Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane accepted the pleas and set Quintanilla-Alcocer’s sentencing for May 25, while Cibriano-Gonzalez and Garcia are set for April 18. At those times, all three men face up to life in federal prison. They each have been and will remain in custody pending their hearings.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from the Palmview Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lee Fry and Devin Walker are prosecuting the case.