LAREDO, Texas – A man pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge accusing him of illegally transporting people across the border, which resulted in three deaths.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the 25-year-old Mexican man, Omar Gonzalez-Herrera, admitted to guiding 14 people across the Rio Grande River to enter the United States illegally. Herrera said he was going to be paid $1,500 for helping the group cross the river.
During the crossing, three people were swept away by strong currents and died. Among the victims was a 5-year-old boy.
Herrera was arrested on Aug. 2. Laredo Border Patrol agents found the group after following footprints along the river.
Herrera is facing a $250,000 fine and could be sentenced to life in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana will set up the sentencing date soon. Herrera will stay in custody until the sentencing.