Driver Involved in Dimmit County Crash that Resulted in Five Deaths Enters Guilty Plea
DEL RIO – Jorge Luis Monsivais, Jr., 23 of Eagle Pass, pleaded guilty today to federal charges in connection with a smuggling scheme that resulted in the deaths of five undocumented noncitizens.
Appearing before U.S. District Judge Alia Moses, Monsivais pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death; one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury; one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens; one count of illegal alien transportation resulting in death; and one count of illegal alien transportation resulting in serious bodily injury.
According to court documents, Monsivais and others led Border Patrol agents and Dimmit County Sheriff deputies on a high-speed chase on June 17, 2018. While traveling east bound on Highway 85 at speeds over 100 miles per hour, Monsivais crashed as he entered the town of Big Wells. Four of the 13 undocumented noncitizens traveling with Monsivais at the time of the crash died at the scene and nine were transported to a hospital for medical care. One died on the way to the hospital. U.S. Border Patrol agents detained a total of 23 undocumented noncitizens involved in this scheme—21 Mexican nationals and two Honduran nationals.
Monsivais, who has remained in federal custody since June 17, 2018, faces up to life in federal prison. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.
U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee, U.S. Border Patrol Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero and Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd made today’s announcement.
Four co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty in this case. On July 29, 2019, 58-year-old Mexican citizen Marcial Gomez Santana pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death; conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury; conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens; and harboring illegal aliens for private financial gain. On August 20, 2019, Marcial’s son and daughter, 24-year-old Rudy Gomez of Hockley and 22-year-old Johana Gomez of Houston, along with 48-year-old Mexican citizen Mariela Reyna all pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens. Sentencing for those four defendants is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on September 7, 2021. Marcial Gomez faces up to life imprisonment. The remaining three defendants face up to 10 years in federal prison.
HSI investigated this case together with the U.S. Border Patrol—Del Rio Sector and the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Hail and John Kennedy are prosecuting this case.