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Press Release

Guatemalan National Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Deaths in Human Smuggling Operation

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

ALPINE, Texas – A Guatemalan national was sentenced in federal court in Pecos Monday to 63 months in prison for one count of transportation of illegal aliens resulting in death.

According to court documents, David Alexander Gonzalez-Diaz, 24, of Santa Rosa, Guatemala, was transporting 14 undocumented noncitizens north of Van Horn on Oct. 29, 2021, when he lost control of the vehicle, crashing and ejecting several occupants.  As a result, four of the migrants were killed and six were critically injured.  Gonzalez-Diaz has remained in federal custody since his arrest the day of the crash.

“Human smuggling is extremely dangerous and, as displayed in this case, often results in serious injury or death,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas.  “This sentence is a reminder that violators are committing a serious crime with serious consequences and will be held accountable.”

"This case drives home a harsh message to anyone considering trusting a smuggler to attempt to enter the United States illegally: Anytime you trust a smuggler, you’re putting your life in grave danger,” said Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola for the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso Division. “Human smugglers have a total disregard for their clients’ safety, welfare, and lives. They see them simply as cargo and a means to make a profit."

HSI investigated the case with assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Greenbaum prosecuted the case.


Updated June 30, 2023

Human Smuggling