Smuggling Epidemic: Story Behind the 15-Year Jail Sentence

smuggling epidemic story behind the 15 year jail sentence

smuggling epidemic story behind the 15 year jail sentence

A Mexican national was sentenced to 15 years in jail on Thursday by a federal judge in the United States for his part in organizing a human smuggling operation that led to the deaths of 13 migrants in a highway accident in 2021 close to the California-Mexico border.

Jose Cruz Noguez, 49, a permanent US resident who was born in Mexicali, Mexico, was given the punishment in March after pleading guilty in a US district court for Southern California to conspiring to bring in illegal immigrants and to doing so for financial gain. The convictions led to the sentence being imposed on him.

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Cruz Noguez drove two SUVs filled with migrants into the United States in March 2021. Shortly after entering the country, one of the SUVs collided with a tractor-trailer, resulting in the deaths of 13 migrants from Mexico and Guatemala and the serious injury of many others.

After the accident, Cruz Noguez allegedly told an informant working for the federal government that he was attempting to collect payment from the migrants who had survived. The Department of Justice gave this information.

Cruz Noguez was called “monstrous and cruel” by the Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo of the United States District Court before the sentence was handed down, according to the justice department. The judge also stated that the incident was “among the worst of cases I have seen.”

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