Homero Zamorano and Christian Martinez They were charged in US federal court with charges related to the deaths of 53 migrants who were found abandoned inside a truck on a highway in San Antonio, Texas last month and could face the death penalty.
A federal grand jury in San Antonio on Thursday indicted Zamorano, 46, and Martínez, 28, who are in custody, on charges that include the death and transportation of undocumented migrants, according to court documents to which Efe had access. .
The charges include the injuries and deaths of fifty adults and three minors, and conspiracy to smuggle migrants.
In all, four suspects had already been charged in the human smuggling and deaths, but the federal jury’s charges are more serious.
If the defendants are found guilty they could face the death penalty or life in prison.
The charging document alleges that Zamorano and Martinez, along with others, “knowing that aliens came to the U.S., entered, and remained in violation of law, conspired to transport those aliens.”
“That crime resulted in the death of one or more persons,” the document adds.
The prosecution indicated that Zamorano corresponded to the description and wore the same clothes as the truck driver according to images captured by a surveillance camera at an immigration checkpoint.
San Antonio police, responding to reports of the abandoned truck on June 27, found and arrested Zambrano hiding in nearby brush.
For his part, Martínez’s phone showed that he had contacted Zamora, asking where he was, and an informant told investigators that Martínez had admitted his involvement in the incident.
According to court documents, Martinez testified that the truck driver did not know that the air conditioning unit had stopped working and that was the reason the people inside the vehicle died.
According to the National Immigration Institute of Mexico, There were 67 people in the truck and those who died included 27 Mexicans, 14 Hondurans and 7 Guatemalans, among others.
In a separate case, Juan Claudio D’Luna Méndez, 23, and Francisco D’Luna Bilbao, 48, both Mexicans, were charged with possession of a firearm during their illegal stay in the United States.
According to the prosecution, investigators located both men by tracing the addresses in the truck’s registration. The two D’Lunas have admitted illegal possession of firearms and staying in the US after their visas expired.
(with information from EFE)
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