CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CN) – Three alien smugglers were sentenced to 4, 5, and 8 years in federal prison for an operation that ended with an SUV crashing into a 70-year-old woman’s house and killing her, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Romeo Cantu and Marcos Adrian, both of Falfurrias, and Mexican national Evarardo Hernandez-Salazar were sentenced to 8 years, 52 months and 64 months in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
A sheriff’s deputy tried to stop the smugglers’ Chevy Suburban for failing to signal an unsafe lane change at 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2011. “The driver initially stopped, but as the deputy approached the vehicle, the driver accelerated rapidly,” prosecutors said in the statement. “Shortly thereafter, the SUV crashed into and went completely through the victim’s home. The victim was struck and killed instantly.”
Everyone in the van fled.
“Police officers soon located one of the smugglers – Adrian – after a brief foot pursuit and found the seven illegal aliens hiding in the bed of a nearby truck. The driver of the vehicle, an individual known only as ‘Perico,’ escaped,” the U.S. attorney said in the statement.
“The illegal aliens were interviewed and provided details regarding the smuggling attempt, including that they yelled at Perico to stop the SUV after he had accelerated rapidly in his attempt to escape,” prosecutors said.
Falfurrias is about 80 miles southwest of Corpus Christi.