Law enforcement officials arrested Christian Martinez, 28, in the East Texas town of Palestine.
Federal authorities have charged a fourth man in connection with the deaths of 53 migrants
trapped in a sweltering tractor-trailer abandoned in Southwest San Antonio.
Law enforcement officials arrested Christian Martinez, 28, in the East Texas town of Palestine and charged him with conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants resulting in death, according to a statement
from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In the aftermath of the grisly discovery on Monday, authorities had already arrested
the truck's suspected driver, Homero Zamorano, 45, along with Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez, both picked up on weapons charges.
Authorities swept up Martinez after discovering communication between him and Zamorano on the driver's cell phone, court documents show.
If convicted, Martinez and Zamorano face up to life in prison or possibly the death penalty, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Both D’Luna-Bilbao and D’Luna-Mendez, who are in the country illegally, face up to 10 years in prison, according to federal officials.
Forty-eight migrants were dead at the scene when the abandoned truck was discovered Monday evening. Five more have died since receiving medical treatment, while 11 more remain under hospital care.
The case is being called the deadliest migrant smuggling incident in U.S. history.
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