New Mexico Smuggler Sentenced for Shooting ‘Illegal Alien,’ Says DOJ

by BOB PRICE 7 Oct 2021

A federal court in West Texas convicted a New Mexico man for “harboring and causing serious bodily injury to an illegal alien.” The court sentenced the man this week to 235 months in prison.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Del Rio sentenced Jorge Estrada-Torres, 33, to 235 months after he shot a Honduran man in the abdominal area while he was smuggling the migrant, according to court records.

In June 2020, Estrada pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury, one count of harboring illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of felon in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.

The arrest warrant affidavit states that Estrada “harbored, or shielded from detection” a Honduran migrant in his home after the migrant entered the U.S. illegally. “While the alien was in this residence, the defendant did shot the alien in the abdominal area with a rifle,” the document states. The gunshot wound required emergency surgery.

The November 2019 indictment states that Estrada shot the Honduran migrant with a Mossburg .22 cal rifle. It states that Estrada had a previous felony conviction that would bar him from possessing the weapon. Officials did not disclose the underlying felony conviction.

“Human smuggling is a dangerous business focused on profits, not people,” U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff said in a written statement. “We will proudly stand with our federal, state, and local law enforcement to end this perilous practice and bring human smugglers to justice.”

Officials with the U.S. Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector teamed up with the Maverick County Sheriff’s Office and ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents to investigate the shooting and smuggling incident.

“This case illustrates the dangerous actions human smugglers are willing to take to ensure personal profit,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, San Antonio. “HSI is committed to bringing to justice the criminal organizations that prey on the vulnerable with no regard for the well-being of the people they smuggle.”