2 Mexican men plead guilty for their role in human smuggling case resulting in death
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol.
On Sept. 10, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo accepted the guilty pleas of Mario Emiliano-Herrera and Julio Cesar Lopez-Nino, both 19 and from Mexico, for their role in transporting illegal aliens, resulting in a death.
According to court documents, Emiliano-Herrera and Lopez-Nino were originally arrested Feb. 27, 2018, after U.S. Border Patrol officers encountered them leading a group of illegal aliens through the brush in Laredo. Nine were ultimately apprehended, two of whom included Emiliano-Herrera and Lopez-Nino. A short time later, law enforcement learned one of the aliens had passed out and had been left behind and attempted to retrace the group’s steps to no avail.
On March 7, a ranch foreman notified authorities that a body was found on the property just 1.5 miles north of the Rio Grande River. The deceased male was identified as part of the group Emiliano-Herrera and Lopez-Nino lead. According to witnesses, the victim could no longer keep up with the group, at which time Lopez-Nino kicked him repeatedly and left him behind.
Judge Marmolejo has not yet set a sentencing date. Both Emiliano-Herrera and Lopez-Nino each face up to life in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. They remain in custody pending the disposition of their criminal case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Giselle S. Guerra, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.
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