Body Smuggler Gets 2½ Years

SAN DIEGO (CN) — A body smuggler who blasted through a Border Patrol checkpoint east of San Diego, injuring a federal agent and leading officers on a 100 mph chase the wrong way on a freeway, in a reckless incident that was caught on video, was sentenced Friday to 2½ years in federal prison.

Jorge Garcia Osornio, 28, of Michoacán, was in the United States illegally, as were the two men hiding on the floor of the car he was driving, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement after the sentencing.

Prosecutors said Garcia was to be paid $1,400 to $2,000 for smuggling the two men.

In the early 1980s, body smugglers, or coyotes, charged as little as $50 a head for smuggling people across the border.

Border Patrol Agent M. Medina was seriously injured by debris from a steel-framed stop sign that virtually exploded when Garcia blew through it on the morning of Nov. 14, 2017 at the Pine Valley checkpoint, 45 miles east of San Diego.

Garcia already had made an illegal U-turn before getting to the checkpoint, setting off a chase, made another U-turn and sped back to the checkpoint, where he nearly ran over Medina, which was caught on surveillance video.

After a 3½ mile chase at mph, Garcia crashed the car and ran away. Agents quickly found and arrested him.

He faced up to 10 years and a fine of $250,000 for transporting undocumented people and aiding and abetting.

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