Coyotes Accused of Letting a Woman Die
SAN DIEGO (CN) - Two alien smugglers abandoned a pregnant woman to die in the Otay Mountains, federal prosecutors said in an indictment that was unsealed Wednesday.
Fernando Armenta-Romero, 43, and Carlos Hernandez-Palma, 35, were arrested over the Labor Day weekend, the U.S. Attorney's Office said after unsealing the indictment.
They are charged with abandoning 32-year-old Jacqueline Capistran-Ochoa in remote, rugged terrain during the Christmas holidays in 2013. She was dead when the Border Patrol found her after a two-day search.
Capistran's husband told the Border Patrol that the smugglers, or coyotes, promised to take both of them to the United States for $12,000.
The cost of such a journey has risen from $50 in the early 1980s to thousands of dollars today.
Prosecutors asked that Armenta and Hernandez be detained due to risk of flight and danger to the community. A detention hearing has been set for Sept. 9.
If convicted of brining in illegal aliens resulting in death, the men face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.