Los Angeles, US, Jun 29 (EFE).- Two men arrested for their alleged connection to the migrant smuggling incident that resulted in the deaths of 53 people who were left in an abandoned truck in San Antonio, Texas, could face life imprisonment or the death penalty if convicted.
Out of 64 undocumented migrants discovered in or nearby the truck on Monday, 48 were found dead at the scene and 16 were taken to hospital where five died, according to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Of the 48, 22 were Mexican, seven Guatemalan, two Honduran and 17 were of unknown origin as identification continues.
Homero Zamorano, 45, is charged with alien smuggling resulting in death and Christian Martínez, 28, is charged with conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death, the US Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas said in a statement on Wednesday.
Zamorano, originally from Brownsville, Texas, was arrested by San Antonio Police on Monday as he was trying to escape through the brush around the tragic scene at which many of the migrants were found deceased and some incapacitated.
HSI verified with Laredo Sector Border Patrol that the arrested man was wearing the same clothing as the truck driver captured in video surveillance crossing through an immigration checkpoint.
Martínez was arrested after a search warrant was executed for Zamorano’s mobile phone, on which exchanges of messages between the pair about the smuggling event were found, the statement said.
In addition, Mexicans Juan Claudio D’Luna-Méndez, 23, and Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao, 48, were also arrested after they were located at a San Antonio house linked to the address registered to the truck used in the smuggling attempt.
Both were charged with one count of possession of a weapon by an alien illegally in the US. EFE