CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A 23-year-old Mexican National has been charged with unlawful transportation of aliens resulting in death following the fatal smuggling attempt in which six people were left for dead.
Authorities arrested Ivan Dario Puga-Moreno, of Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, on June 6 in Houston. He is expected to make an initial appearance June 10 at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Palermo in Houston.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Corpus Christi, authorities discovered a wrecked Chevrolet Suburban in a ditch in Robstown on June 5. Six people were found deceased at the scene with nine more requiring hospitalization due to their significant injuries, according to the charges.
The complaint alleges the subsequent investigation revealed Puga-Moreno was the driver of the wrecked vehicle and was attempting to smuggle approximately 18 illegal aliens from South Texas to Houston. Puga-Moreno allegedly fled the scene following the accident.
Puga-Moreno was smuggling the illegal aliens with the assistance of a brush guide from his hometown in Mexico, according to the charges.
If convicted, Puga-Moreno could potentially face the death penalty.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation along with the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Coast Guard, Border Patrol, police departments in Robstown and Corpus Christi, Nueces County Sherriff’s Office and Robstown Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department.