Five people, three U.S. citizens and two Mexican nationals, are now facing the possiblity of the death penalty for their involvement in a deadly immigrant smuggling attempt last month, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
An SUV which was driving erratically, flipped over in Dimmitt County last month as it was being pursued by the Border Patrol. The vehicle was packed with 14 illegal immigrants, five of whom died in the wreck.
The suspects, including the driver of the SUV and a father and two sons who allegedly helped set up the immigrant smuggling effort, are charged with transport of illegal aliens resulting in death, which is a capital federal felony.
They also face other charges, including conspiracy, and housing illegal aliens for financial gain.
The feds say the SUV, with Jorge Luis Monsivais, 20, of Eagle Pass, at the wheel, blew threw the Border Patrol checkpoint between El Indio and Carrizo Springs on FM 2644, leading Border Patrol and Dimmitt County Deputies on a high speed chase that ended with Monsivais' vehicle overturned on the outskirts of the small town of Big Wells.
A total of 23 illegal immigrants, 21 from Mexico and two from Honduras, were rescued from the three vehicles in the convoy.
The other two vehicles, which were driven by the other defendants, were detained at the checkpoint.