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Driver in Texas human smuggling operation faces possibility of death penalty

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, June 30, 2022:

The suspected driver in the grisly human smuggling operation in San Antonio in which 53 undocumented immigrants died has been charged for his involvement in the case.

Homero Zamorano Jr., 45, was charged with alien smuggling resulting in death, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324.

According to court documents, on June 27, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) responded to the scene of a human smuggling event involving a tractor-trailer and 64 individuals suspected of entering the United States illegally. 

Laredo Sector Border Patrol provided HSI agents surveillance footage of the truck crossing through an immigration checkpoint, and the video showed the driver wearing a black shirt with stripes and a hat, which is the same clothing Zamorano was wearing when he was found in a field near where the truck was found.

Zamorano is charged by criminal complaint with one count of alien smuggling resulting in death. He is originally from Brownsville, Texas, but resides in Pasadena, Texas. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison or possibly the death penalty. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Also charged by criminal complaint is Christian Martinez, 28, who was arrested on June 28, in Palestine, Texas. He has been charged with one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death. 

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