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Justice News

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Driver and Four Others Involved in Dimmit County Crash that Resulted in Deaths of Five Illegal Aliens

In Del Rio today, a federal grand jury indicted five (5) individuals, including 20–year-old Jorge Luis Monsivais, Jr., of Eagle Pass, TX, for their roles in a smuggling scheme that resulted in the deaths of five (5) illegal aliens, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash, U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, U.S. Border Patrol Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez and Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd.

The six-count indictment charges Monsivais, 55-year-old Mexican citizen Marcial Gomez Santana; and occupants, 45-year-old Mexican citizen Mariela Reyna; Marcial’s son, 21-year-old Rudy Gomez of Hockley, TX; and, Marcial’s daughter, 19-year-old Johana Gomez of Houston, TX, with one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death, one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens.  The indictment also charges Monsivais with one substantive count of transportation of illegal aliens resulting in death and one substantive count of transportation of illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury.  The indictment also charges Santana, Reyna, Rudy and Johana Gomez with one count of harboring illegal aliens for private financial gain.

All five charged in the indictment remain in custody.  Upon conviction, the defendants face up to life imprisonment or death, a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release. 

On June 17, 2018, U.S. Border Patrol agents initiated immigration inspections on three vehicles traveling in a convoy on FM 2644 between El Indio, TX and Carrizo Springs, TX.  Monsivais led Border Patrol agents and Dimmit County Sheriff’s deputies on a high speed chase.  While traveling east bound on Highway 85, Monsivais crashed as he entered the town of Big Wells, TX.  Of 13 illegal aliens traveling with Monsivais at the time of the crash, four of them 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 illegal aliens involved in this scheme--21 Mexican nationals and two (2) Honduran nationals. 

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is leading this investigation together with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol—Del Rio Sector and the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Paul Harle is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Human Smuggling
Updated July 18, 2018