Man Pleads Guilty To Involvement In Smuggling Attempt Turned High-Speed Chase That Killed Five

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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A man pled guilty to involvement in a smuggling scheme that resulted in a high-speed chase and car crash which killed five illegal migrants, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Jorge Luis Monsivais Jr., 23, fled in a car driving over 100 miles per hour attempting to evade Border Patrol agents and Dimmit County Sheriff deputies before crashing in Big Wells, Texas, in July 2018, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Four of the 13 illegal migrants traveling with Monsivais died at the scene of the crash while nine others were transported to a hospital for treatment, but one person died on the way to the hospital, according to the DOJ. Border Patrol officials detained 23 illegal migrants, mostly from Mexico, involved in the apparent smuggling attempt.

Monsivais pled guilty to five charges including conspiracy to harbor illegal migrants, transporting illegal migrants resulting in death and serious bodily injury, according to the DOJ. He faces up to life in federal prison and remains in custody awaiting sentencing. (RELATED: ‘The Smuggler Is Our Enemy’: DHS Announces Operation Targeting Criminal Organizations Who Smuggle Migrants)

Four others previously pled guilty in connection with the case, according to the DOJ. Mexican national Marcial Gomez Santana, 58, pled guilty to conspiring to transport illegal migrants resulting in death or serious bodily injury and harboring illegal migrants for financial gain in July 2019.

Gomez Santana’s children, Rudy Gomez, 24, and 22-year-old Johana Gomez, both U.S. citizens, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to harbor illegal aliens in August 2020, according to the DOJ. Mexican national Mariela Reyna, 48, also pled guilty to the same charge, and all three individuals face up to 10 years in federal prison.

Gomez Santana faces up to life in prison and is scheduled for sentencing along with his children and Reyna on September 7, 2021, according to the DOJ.

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