Third smuggler sentenced in connection with fatal 2021 Palmview crash

4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, November 30 2023 Nov 30, 2023 November 30, 2023 11:05 PM November 30, 2023 in News - Local

A Mission man was sentenced to over 20 years in prison in connection with two separate human smuggling schemes, one of which ended with a fatal crash in Palmview, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Orlando Andres Garcia was sentenced to a total of 251 months in prison on charges of human smuggling resulting in death and conspiracy to harbor undocumented individuals.

Garcia was previously identified as one of the drivers in an October 2021 police chase that netted two other arrests.

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Francisco Javier Quintanilla-Alcocer, 39, and Brandon Cibriano-Gonzalez, 22, were sentenced to over eight and seven years in federal prison, respectively, for their involvement in the crash.

The Mexican nationals are also expected to be deported following their sentences, according to a news release.

Quintanilla-Alcocer and Garcia were identified as the drivers of two separate vehicles that were carrying a total of 10 migrants on Oct. 22, 2021 that led law enforcement officers on a high speed chase in Palmview. The chase ended when the vehicle Quintanilla-Alcocer was driving crashed into a fence, ejecting three migrants from the vehicle. The migrants succumbed to their injuries.

Cibriano-Gonzalez was identified as the brush guide who led the migrants to Quintanilla-Alcocer and Garcia prior to the crash.

Phone records indicated that Quintanilla-Alcocer and Garcia were communicating throughout the high-speed pursuit that reached a speed of 130 miles per hour. During these conversations, Garcia instructed Quintanilla-Alcocer to go faster, the release stated. 

Garcia was arrested following the November 2021 kidnapping of nearly 50 migrants.

According to the release, Garcia and “several conspirators” arrived at a stash house and screamed “immigration” and directed 47 fleeing individuals to multiple vehicles staged outside the residence, where they were transported to different stash houses.

“While held at the stash houses, conspirators possessed and brandished firearms and contacted the families for additional funds to facilitate transportation north,” the release stated." Garcia also used the [migrants] as payment to co-conspirators for their assistance in the stealing of the [migrants]. But when they were unable to secure monies for some of the [migrants], several conspirators sold them to members of a third smuggling organization.”

Twelve other people were convicted in connection with the kidnapping scheme.

Garcia’s sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.

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