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Mexican man pleads responsible to smuggling migrants after crashing SUV in California, leaving 13 lifeless

A Mexican man pleaded responsible Tuesday to coordinating a smuggling effort that left 13 folks lifeless when their overloaded SUV was struck by a big-rig after crossing the border into California two years in the past.

Jose Cruz Noguez, 49, of Mexicali, entered pleas in federal court docket to a cost of conspiracy to herald undocumented migrants and three counts of bringing in undocumented migrants for monetary acquire, the U.S. lawyer’s workplace stated in an announcement. He faces not less than 15 years in jail when he’s sentenced in June.

Prosecutors stated Cruz organized a smuggling run on March 2, 2021, through which dozens of individuals had been crammed into two modified sport utility automobiles that had been pushed into america by way of a breach reduce within the worldwide boundary fence.


One SUV, a GMC Yukon carrying 19 folks, caught fireplace for unknown causes on a close-by interstate after getting into the U.S. Everybody escaped the car and all had been taken into custody by the Border Patrol, authorities stated.

The opposite car, a Ford Expedition carrying 25 folks, was driving by way of California’s agricultural Imperial Valleywhen it was broadsided by a tractor-trailer hauling two empty trailers at an intersection close to Holtville, about 125 miles east of San Diego, authorities stated.

The crash killed 13 folks, together with the driving force, and left the remainder with accidents, lots of them main. A 15-year-old woman was among the many injured.

Cruz was taken into custody after one other suspected smuggler was arrested at a California border station two weeks after the crash.

Froylan Cortez Avalos, 49, of Mexicali additionally was charged within the case however stays a fugitive.

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