FEDS: Smuggler Left his Human Cargo to Die following Accident

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Covering Fort Bend News) – A 23-year-old Mexican man is accused of leaving his human-cargo of 18 people behind to fend for themselves after he wrecked the Chevy Suburban he used to smuggle them into Texas from Mexico. After the crash happened he took off without helping those he smuggled into the United States. Six people were later found dead and nine additional people requested hospitalization according to U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick.

Authorities arrested Ivan Dario Puga-Moreno, of Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, on June 6, 2019, in Houston. He is expected to make an initial appearance June 10 at 10 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Palermo in Houston.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Corpus Christi, authorities discovered a wrecked Chevrolet Suburban in a ditch in Robstown on June 5. The complaint alleges Puga-Moreno was the driver of the wrecked vehicle. Puga-Moreno was smuggling the illegal aliens with the assistance of a brush guide from his hometown in Mexico, according to the charges.

If convicted, Puga-Moreno could potentially face the death penalty.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation along with the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Coast Guard, Border Patrol, police departments in Robstown and Corpus Christi, Nueces County Sherriff’s Office and Robstown Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Cody Barnes and Jeremy Fugate are prosecuting the case.