Two smugglers sentenced in connection with fatal 2021 crash near Palmview

8 months 2 days 21 hours ago Tuesday, August 15 2023 Aug 15, 2023 August 15, 2023 10:22 PM August 15, 2023 in News - Local

Two men were sentenced Tuesday for their role in a human smuggling crash that killed three migrants on October 2021, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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 the release.

A third individual — Orlando Andres Garcia — was also charged in connection with the crash and is set to be sentenced in November.

ORIGINAL STORY: DPS: 2 dead, 5 hospitalized after crash in Palmview

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 homeowner’s 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.

“Two migrants died on the side of a dirt road in Mission, Texas, because of a smuggler’s reckless attempt to avoid arrest,” U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani stated in the news release, “Human smugglers - they don’t care about anyone’s life but their own, and after leading authorities on a car chase, crashing and rolling a vehicle full of migrants, Quintanilla-Alcocer fled the scene, leaving those he transported for dead.”

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. 

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