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Press Release

Final Defendant Sentenced To Federal Prison In Connection With Undocumented Immigrant Smuggling Incident That Resulted In 3 Deaths

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

In San Antonio this afternoon, 26–year-old Jose Abram Lopez-Lozano, a resident of Michoacàn, Mexico, was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison in connection with an undocumented alien smuggling incident which resulted in three deaths announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala.

On March 27, 2013, Lopez-Lozano pleaded guilty smuggling undocumented aliens for financial gain.  On the same day, his co-defendant, 32-year-old Javier Silva-Morales, a resident of Monterrey, Mexico, pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling undocumented aliens resulting in death.  By pleading guilty, both admitted to transporting smuggled undocumented aliens on February 6, 2013, from Falfurrias, TX, to Houston when a Wilson County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop near Poth, TX.  A vehicle chase ensued.  After losing sight of the vehicle, deputies subsequently discovered several individuals at the end of an open field standing on top of what appeared to be the same vehicle which was now submerged under water.   A total of 13 individuals, including both defendants, were apprehended by sheriff’s deputies with assistance from Texas Department of Public Safety troopers. HSI agents later determined that the 13 were in the United States without proper documentation and placed them under arrest.  A Texas Department of Public Safety dive team dispatched to the scene recovered three bodies from the bottom of the water near the vehicle. 

On July 7, 2013, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez sentenced Silva-Morales to 150 months in federal prison. 

This case was investigated by HSI, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.  Special Assistant United States Attorney Christina Playton prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.
Updated December 15, 2014