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Thread: Two Human Smugglers Sentenced in Drowning Death of Migrant on California Coast

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Scott-in-FL's Avatar
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    Two Human Smugglers Sentenced in Drowning Death of Migrant on California Coast

    Two Human Smugglers Sentenced in Drowning Death of Migrant on California Coast



    by BOB PRICE 16 Dec 2021

    A federal court in California sentenced two human smugglers to prison following the drowning of a migrant during a maritime incident in May. The smugglers forced migrants unable to swim into the water, leading to one person’s death.

    U.S. District Judge John Houston sentenced Victor Alfonso Soto Aguilar and Jose Ramon Geraldo Romero to 71 and 60 months in prison for a maritime smuggling incident that lead to the drowning of Rogelio Perez-Gutierrez, a 43-year-old citizen of Mexico. On May 20, 2021, the two men forced 12 migrants to take off their life jackets and get in the ocean about 80 yards of the La Jolla, California, coast, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

    The migrants followed the instructions and immediately began struggling to stay afloat. Two migrants still in the panga boat began throwing life jackets to the migrants in the water. At that point, the two smugglers saw a lifeless body floating in the boat and sped away toward another beach.

    Soto Aguilar and Geraldo Romero beached the boat and fled the scene. A search of the area led to their apprehension. During the law enforcement operation, a witness observed a body floating in the water, rescue worker pronounced the migrant dead on the scene.

    Coast Guardsmen and San Diego Life Guards found the remaining migrants in the water and pulled them to safety.

    The migrants told investigators they paid the human smugglers between $12,000 and $15,000 each to transport them from Mexico to the United States. They also said they were in fear for their lives throughout the smuggling ordeal.

    “A human being is not here because of the risk you were willing to take,” Judge Houston told the two defendants following the sentencing.

    “This was a tragedy that never should have happened,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman. “These deadly smuggling incidents are on the rise. We will aggressively seek justice for the victims. But we also urge anyone who is contemplating an attempt to cross the border illegally: Don’t do it. Don’t put your life in the hands of greedy smugglers who care about money, not you.” Grossman commended the excellent work of the prosecution team as well as the HSI agents, Coast Guard officers, Border Patrol agents, and San Diego Lifeguards, for their efforts in connection with the case.

    “The U.S. Border Patrol will continue to seek maximum prosecution of individuals who smuggle at sea,” San Diego Sector’s Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke added. “This incredibly dangerous and unpredictable tactic has already claimed lives, yet smuggling organizations continue to enrich themselves by using it.”


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  2. #2
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    I hope the survivors were deported immediately.

    NONE of them can stay here!

    They pay $15 grand each. They can go home, pool their money and open their own businesses.
    GeorgiaPeach likes this.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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