A man charged with organizing a smuggling operation in a fatal crash near the U.S.-Mexico border

U.S. Resident was charged in connection with Smuggling operation that killed 13 people Earlier this month, after a semi-truck crashed into an SUV full of 25 people, many Mexicans and Guatemalans.

José Cruz Noges, who lives in Mexicali, Mexico, was arrested on Monday night when he traveled from Mexico to the United States. FBI announcement.. According to officials, 47-year-old Cruz is a permanent resident of the United States in San Jose, California.

The SUV, driven by a 28-year-old resident of Mexico, entered the intersection just before a large rig hit the side of the SUV. The driver and 12 other passengers packed in the SUV were killed.

According to officials, Cruz was charged with a plot to bring immigrants to the United States, causing serious personal injury and bringing them in without presenting them for financial gain.

“Cramming dozens of people into an eight-seater car and driving recklessly to avoid detection shows that we’re completely ignoring human life,” said Deputy Federal Attorney. Randy Grossman said in a statement. And avoidable death. “

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The crash spotlighted immigration and border concerns. According to the Customs and Border Protection, a fatal clash occurred in Southern California, 10 miles north of the border, with two vehicles entering the United States through a 10-foot hole in the fence.

Another smuggler, who claimed to be a member of Cruz, said he had declined but was hired as a driver. The smuggler then spoke on a “secretly recorded” phone call with Cruz, where he confirmed his involvement, the complaint said.

“His other companions have cut the border fence, the vehicles are full, and they have raised money for the event,” Cruz said on the phone, according to the complaint.

“On March 2, 13 people died due to malicious human smugglers,” said Gregory K. Bobino, chief patrol agent of the El Centro Sector Border Guard. “The US Prosecutor’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Border Guard do nothing to find, arrest, and prosecute smuggling organizations. This case is evidence.”

Contributions: Grace Hauck, Colin Atagi, Christal Hayes

This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Imperial County Crash: Man charged with organizing smuggling operations

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