An Eagle Pass, Texas, man was sentenced last week to 360 months in federal prison for his role in a human smuggling event which resulted in the deaths of five migrants. The case stems from a June 2018 incident when Monsivais led authorities on a deadly high-speed chase.
Court documents state Jorge Luis Monsivais Jr., 23, was driving a Suburban on Texas Farm to Market Road 2644 with 13 migrants when Border Patrol attempted to stop the vehicle. Monsivais tried to evade and eventually crashed on Highway 85 near Big Wells. Several occupants were ejected. Four died at the scene and another passed away during transport to a hospital. Others suffered serious injuries.
On May 11, 2021, Monsivais pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death; one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury; one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens; one count of illegal alien transportation resulting in death; and one count of illegal alien transportation resulting in serious bodily injury.
Four co-defendants previously pleaded guilty in this case and were sentenced, bringing a close to the matter. On July 29, 2019, 58-year-old Mexican Marcial Gomez Santana pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death; conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury; conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens; and harboring illegal aliens for private financial gain. Gomez was later sentenced to 262 months in federal prison for his role.
On August 20, 2019, Marcial’s son and daughter, 24-year-old Rudy Gomez of Hockley and 22-year-old Johana Gomez of Houston, along with 48-year-old Mexican citizen Mariela Reyna, all pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens. Each of these defendants were sentenced to 10 years in prison and financial restitution to the victims.
HSI investigated this case with the U.S. Border Patrol—Del Rio Sector and the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Hail and John Kennedy prosecuted this case.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.