Human Trafficker Sentenced to 18 Years

A southwest Texas man was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison Monday in connection with a human smuggling case that resulted in the death of a Honduran national. Fernando Ochoa, 27, was sentenced in federal court in Eagle Pass to 216 months in federal prison.

According to court documents, on Sep. 15, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agents had been tracking suspected crossings of illegal immigrants through the brush near Highway 277 between Eagle Pass and Carrizo Springs. Agents detained several illegal immigrants who told them that one man had been abandoned in the brush. After searching the area, agents found the body of a Honduran national.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“Targeting smugglers who prey on human beings is an HSI top priority,” said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of HSI San Antonio. “Human smugglers have a callous disregard for the value of life. We will continue to aggressively pursue these alien smugglers who jeopardize the lives of others for their personal profit.”

Ochoa has been in federal custody since his arrest on Oct. 14, 2010. He will remain in custody until he is transported to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.


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