Two brothers from Mexico are facing federal charges after fleeing from U.S. authorities in late July and crashing their vehicle, killing two and injuring 10 others just miles from the international border.
Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that Jorge Garcia-Rascon, 21, and Julio Garcia-Rascon, 19, have been charged with conspiracy to smuggle immigrants resulting in death. They will remain in custody pending trial.
The crash happened after Border Patrol agents attempted a traffic stop. The brothers sped away despite the agents ceasing their pursuit in hopes of avoiding any kind of chase that might endanger the occupants or other vehicles.
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, the brothers had been smuggled themselves. The elder brother, speaking in Spanish, told authorities that he was transporting other migrants to pay off his debt for being brought to the United States.
Jorge Garcia-Rason stated that he and his brother were staying at a motel in El Paso, Texas, and were transporting migrants for an unnamed smuggling organization. He said he had transported six migrants to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the week before the crash.
Julio Garcia-Rascon told authorities that he had once transported migrants to from El Paso to Albuquerque and that he was paid $500 per person. According to court documents, he stated that his employer told him not to stop if law enforcement attempted to pull him over.
A public defender appointed to represent the brothers did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the case.
The brothers’ SUV caught the attention of authorities who were patrolling near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The SUV appeared to be weighed down after it passed by. The Border Patrol agents turned off their emergency lights and sirens after their attempt to stop the vehicle failed.
The driver continued speeding away and eventually lost control, flipping and rolling the vehicle.
Mexico Daily Post