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Press Release

Two Young Men Admit Role in Deadly Transporting Case

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

LAREDO, Texas – Two Mexican nationals have pleaded guilty for their roles in an alien transporting event which resulted in death, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Mario Emiliano-Herrera and Julio Cesar Lopez-Nino, both 19, admitted they hoped to be paid $100 in exchange for each person successfully smuggled across the Rio Grande River and into the United States.

Emiliano-Herrera and Lopez-Nino were originally arrested Feb. 27, 2018, after Border Patrol (BP) agents encountered them leading a group of undocumented aliens through the brush in Laredo. Nine were ultimately apprehended, two of whom included Emiliano-Herrera and Lopez-Nino. 

Law enforcement learned one of the aliens had passed out and had been left behind and attempted to retrace the group’s steps to no avail.

On March 7, 2018, a ranch foreman notified authorities that a body was found on the property just 1.5 miles north of the Rio Grande River. The deceased male was identified as part of the group Emiliano-Herrera and Lopez-Nino lead. According to witnesses, the victim could no longer keep up with the group, at which time Lopez-Nino kicked him repeatedly and left him behind.

Sentencing will be set at a later date before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo. Emiliano-Herrera and Lopez-Nino each face up to life in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. They remain in custody pending that hearing.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation along with BP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Giselle S. Guerra is prosecuting the case. 

Updated September 11, 2018

Human Smuggling