Man Arrested In Palestine, TX Charged In Connection To Smuggling Tragedy
By now you've seen and heard the horrifying news out of the San Antonio area this week as more than 50 people have died after being found in a trailer on the side of the road. Law enforcement agencies in Texas and Mexico are working together to bring those responsible for the deadliest human smuggling attempt in American history to justice and one man believed to be involved in the operation that caused this tragedy was taken into custody in East Texas.
Four People Have Been Arrested As The Investigation Continues
According to KETK and KENS, 28 year old Christian Martinez, who has an address listed in Palestine, was charged with one count of conspiracy to transport undocumented migrants resulting in death. He was arrested in Palestine on Tuesday and appeared in court in Tyler on Wednesday.
Officials Found Martinez Through Cell Communications With The Driver
In San Antonio, officials arrested 45-year-old Homer Zamorano Jr., who was identified as the driver of the truck. Police were led to Zamorano, who was observed hiding in the brush near the scene pretending to be one of the injured migrants. According to court documents, a search warrant was executed on a cell phone belonging to Zamorano and officials discovered communications between Zamorano and Martinez concerning the smuggling event.
Martinez will be transported to San Antonio for further proceedings.
Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez, 23, and Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao, 48, both citizens of Mexico, were also arrested in connection to the incident. If convicted, the men could face up to life in prison or the death penalty.
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