CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — A Mexican national has been charged with smuggling illegal immigrants.
Federal authorities have charged Idelfonso Garcia-Benitez, 20, of Michoacan, Mexico with smuggling 14 illegal immigrants that left 7 dead and 1 needing critical condition.
Documents report that on March 20, 2013 a Kingsville police officer observed a truck disregarding a stop sign. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver sped off leading to a pursuit.
The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into barrier on the Kingsville Naval Air Station leaving seven immigrants dead and one still remaining in critical condition.
Garcia-Benitez was identified as the driver of the truck and he was arrested at the scene of the accident and has been in custody since that time.
The charges against Garcia-Benitez were one count of conspiring to transport aliens, 14 counts of transporting an alien and one count of illegal re-entry after deportation.
If convicted, Garcia-Benitez faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.