Two men were indicted on federal charges related to the deaths of 53 migrants inside an abandoned truck, while two others were indicted on firearms charges.
Two Texas men were indicted Wednesday in the deaths of 53 migrants trapped last month inside a sweltering tractor-trailer abandoned in San Antonio, according to federal officials.
A federal grand jury in San Antonio indicted Homero Zamorano Jr., 46, and Christian Martinez, 28, on two charges: transporting and conspiring to transport migrants illegally resulting in death, and transporting and conspiring to transport migrants illegally resulting in serious injury, the Justice Department said in a news release
The men, both from Pasadena, Texas, remain in federal custody without bond.
Conviction on the counts of transporting migrants resulting in death could bring life sentences, which the U.S. Attorney General has the option of upgrading to the death penalty, according to the feds. The counts related to serious injury could carry up to 20 years in prison.
Authorities discovered the abandoned tractor-trailer on June 27, and the gruesome incident made international headlines. Fifty adults and three children died from heat-related injuries. Another 10 adults and one child were hospitalized.
In a related case, a federal grand jury in the Alamo City also indicted Mexican citizens Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez, 23, and Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao, 48, with one count each of possession of a firearm while illegally in the U.S., authorities also said.
The registration for the abandoned tractor-trailer came back to a San Antonio residence, which police put under surveillance. D’Luna-Mendez and D’Luna-Bilbao were separately stopped leaving the location, which resulted in authorities finding the men in possession of firearms, according to a Justice Department news release
If convicted, those two defendants face up to 10 years in prison, according to the feds.
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