Human trafficker given 15 years in deadly wreck near Tucson

2014-01-23T15:00:00Z 2014-01-24T08:10:09Z Human trafficker given 15 years in deadly wreck near TucsonArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 23, 2014 3:00 pm  • 

A man who admitted smuggling people into Arizona from Mexico was sentenced to prison this week after pleading guilty to charges stemming from a deadly crash southeast of Tucson last April.

On Tuesday, Chief U.S. District Judge Raner Collins sentenced Armando Ivan Palomares-Castro to 15 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release, a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release said.

Collins had sentenced Francisco Javier Labrador-Valderrama on Oct. 15 to nine years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release on charges from the same wreck.

Both men are from Mexico. The each pleaded guilty in June 2013 to people smuggling for profit.

On April 20, the Border Patrol was pursuing a Chevrolet Tahoe on Interstate 10 southeast of Tucson when the vehicle rolled, killing five of 21 people inside, officials say.

Survivors told investigators that the driver, Palomares-Castro, was their guide when the group crossed by foot into Arizona, the release said. Labrador-Valderrama was identified during the probe as a second guide.

A third smuggler died in the crash, the release said.

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