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June 30, 2023Alpine, TX, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

Human smuggler from Guatemala sentenced to 5 years for crash that killed 4, injured 6

ALPINE, Texas — A Guatemalan national was sentenced in federal court June 26 in Pecos, Texas, to 63 months in prison for transporting undocumented noncitizens resulting in death.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents investigated the case with assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol.

According to court documents, David Alexander Gonzalez-Diaz, 24, of Santa Rosa, Guatemala, was transporting 14 undocumented noncitizens north of Van Horn, Texas, on Oct. 29, 2021, when he lost control of his vehicle, crashing and ejecting several occupants. Four of the migrants were killed and six were critically injured. Gonzalez-Diaz has remained in federal custody since his arrest the day of the crash.

"This case drives home a harsh message to anyone considering trusting a smuggler to attempt to enter the United States illegally: Any time you trust a smuggler, you’re putting your life in grave danger,” said HSI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola. “Human smugglers have a total disregard for their clients’ safety, welfare and lives. They see them simply as cargo and a means to make a profit."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Greenbaum prosecuted the case.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 06/30/2023