Four charged in connection with San Antonio migrant trailer tragedy – NEWSLY

Four people have been charged in connection with the deaths of 53 migrants who were smuggled in a tractor trailer southwest of San Antonio.

45-year-old Homero Zamorano Jr., 28-year-old Christian Martinez, 23-year-old Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez and 48-year-old Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao all face criminal charges on their charges. involvement in a smuggling operation in violation of Title 8 of the United States Code, Section 1324.

The costs are as follows:

  • Zamorano faces one charge of alien smuggling that results in death and if convicted, up to life imprisonment or possibly the death penalty.
  • Martinez faces one charge of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death and if sentenced to life imprisonment or possibly the death penalty
  • D’Luna-Mendez and D’Luna Bilbao each face one count of illegal possession of a gun by a foreigner in the US in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(5) and if convicted, both face up to 10 years in prison

According to court documents, Homeland Security responded to a scene involving a tractor trailer and 64 people suspected of entering the US illegally on Monday, June 27. San Antonio police officers told Homeland Security they arrived on the scene after receiving a 911 call about the trailer. .

Officers found many people, some still in the trailer and some on the ground and near the bushes, many of them dead and some incapacitated, court documents said.

Officers were then brought to a person hiding in the bush after trying to leave who was later identified as Zamorano and taken into custody. Surveillance footage from a trailer passing through immigration checkpoints shows a driver matching Zamorano’s description and attire, the US Attorney’s office said.

48 people at the scene were declared dead; 22 are Mexican nationals, seven are from Guatemala, two are from Honduras and 17 are of unknown origin but allegedly undocumented. Five more people died in hospital. Officials are currently working with foreign consulates to notify next of kin, the US Attorney’s Office said.

Martinez was arrested in Palestine, Texas after a search warrant executed on Zamorano’s cell phone revealed communications between the two about smuggling, court documents said.

D’Luna-Mendez and D’Luna-Bilbao, both Mexican nationals, were arrested after trailer registration brought officers to the San Antonio home and two men, identified as D’Luna-Mendez and D’Luna-Bilbao, were arrested seen leaving the house. in separate trucks, court documents say.

After officers made a traffic stop on both trucks, D’Luna-Bilbao was found to have a gun in the center console of the truck. A search warrant executed at the home revealed additional firearms, according to court documents.

Both D’Luna-Mendez and D’Luna-Bilbao were confirmed to be in the US illegally.

The US Attorney’s Office said the four men were in federal custody.

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