Corpus Christi, Texas - An illegal alien from Mexico was sentenced to five years in federal prison for smuggling aliens that resulted in two deaths.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas, announced this sentence. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), along with the Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol and the Brooks County (Texas) Sherriff's Office.
Juan Diego Lozano-Salgado, 24, was sentenced by Judge Hayden Head sentenced to 60 months in federal prison. As an illegal alien, he is also expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison. On March 2, he pleaded guilty to transporting illegal aliens.
Lozano-Salgado was responsible for coordinating the transportation of illegal aliens from the brush north of U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints to Houston. His role included being a foot guide through the brush and coordinating the pick-up of the aliens by vehicle on Highway 281 near Falfurrias, Texas.
On the evening of Dec. 13, 2015, a group of aliens being guided by Lozano-Salgado entered a pick-up truck near Brooks County and traveled north on U.S. Highway 281. A total of 14 people including Lozano-Salgado were in the truck, both in the interior cab and in the bed. Law enforcement spotted the truck and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, at which time the truck accelerated in an attempt to elude capture.
Shortly thereafter, officers in the area responded to a vehicle accident where it was discovered that the truck had left the road and hit a tree head-on. The driver and one passenger were pronounced dead at the scene and several others were transported to area hospitals. Twelve additional subjects were later determined to be unlawfully present in the United States. The deceased passenger still remains unidentified.
Lozano-Salgado will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
U.S. Attorney Brittany L. Jensen, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.