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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Metro -- Two plead guilty in immigrant smuggling deaths

SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Metro -- Two plead guilty in immigrant smuggling deaths

SAN DIEGO – Two people pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal charges in connection with an immigrant-smuggling expedition that led to four traffic deaths on a desert highway, officials said.
Guadalupe Fierro-Chavez, 21, and Victor Manuel Velasquez-Romero, 26, admitted in federal court in San Diego to their culpability for the Imperial County fatalities.

Velasquez-Romero was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Suburban that crashed on State Route 78, killing four of the 21 undocumented immigrants in the SUV, including a boy, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Fierro-Chavez, who guided the group across the U.S.-Mexico border, entered guilty pleas under a separate agreement with prosecutors.

Each will face a maximum punishment of life in prison at a Sept. 17 sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Irma Gonzalez.


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