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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

South Texas man sentenced to 10 years for unlawfully transporting illegal aliens

Alien smuggling case resulted in the death of a Mexican woman

LAREDO, Texas - A Rio Bravo, Texas, man was sentenced on Tuesday to the statutory maximum of 10 years in federal prison for unlawfully transporting illegal aliens for financial gain. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas. This sentencing resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Alfredo Segura-Guel, 48, was sentenced June 8 by U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez. Co-defendant Maria Trinidad Lopez, 26, also of Rio Bravo was sentenced to seven years incarceration for also transporting illegal aliens for financial gain. In addition to their sentences, the judge ordered both to pay restitution in the amount of $14,543. Segura-Guel and Lopez were the last two of four persons charged and convicted of the crime. Both pleaded guilty in January.

On June 22, 2009, Segura-Guel arranged the transportation of nine illegal aliens, which included a guide to take the group through the brush to a ranch, and circumventing the Border Patrol checkpoint. Once at the ranch, Segura-Guel scheduled to provide further transportation north for the group. However, during the eight-hour walk through the brush, one of the escorted aliens felt ill, but the guide informed the group they could not stop walking. Shortly afterwards, when the victim could no longer walk, the guide abandoned the group in the brush. The group of aliens carried victim to a nearby road where she later died from heat exhaustion.

The two other defendants charged and convicted in this case of harboring illegal aliens, Concepcion Jimenez Coello, 29, and Edwin R. Rodriguez Jimenez, 21, both Mexican nationals, were sentenced in April 2010 to 41 months incarceration each.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Sardelli and Michael C. Elliott, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.