Mexican Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Transporting Illegal Aliens Resulting in 10 Deaths

Death toll included a pregnant woman and her unborn child in the June 2006 rollover near Yuma, Ariz.

PHOENIX (Lawfuel) – Adan Pineda-Doval, 22, of Michoacán, Mexico, was sentenced today to life in prison by U.S. District Judge Stephen M. McNamee. Pineda-Doval was transporting 20 illegal aliens, including two pregnant women, to Los Angeles. He caused a rollover collision near Yuma, Ariz., killing 10 of the vehicle occupants including one of the pregnant woman and her unborn child. Pineda-Doval was found guilty by a federal jury on October 25, 2007, of 10 counts of Transportation of Illegal Aliens Resulting in Death, one count of Transportation of Illegal Aliens Placing Lives in Jeopardy and one count of Re-Entry After Deportation.

Judge McNamee imposed sentences of life imprisonment on each of the 10 counts of Transportation of Illegal Aliens Resulting in Death. Those terms will be served concurrently with each other and concurrently with sentences of 20 years in prison for the charge of Transportation of Illegal Aliens Placing Lives in Jeopardy and two years in prison for the charge of Re-Entry After Deportation.

U.S. Attorney Diane Humetewa stated, “This smuggler jeopardized human lives for personal profit. His ‘criminal business’ and personal greed resulted in the loss of ten lives here. I applaud the jury’s verdict and the law enforcement efforts that resulted in his conviction and the life sentence.”

“This sentence sends a resounding message to those in the human smuggling trade who cavalierly put people’s lives in harm’s way just to turn a profit,” said Troy Henley, acting special agent in charge for the ICE office of investigations in Phoenix. “ICE will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners here in Arizona to see that those individuals and organizations involved in this ruthless enterprise are made to pay for the suffering and loss of life they cause.”

The seats in the Chevrolet Suburban Pineda-Doval was driving had been removed and folded down in the rear of the vehicle and none of the passengers was wearing a seat belt. After being confronted by a Border Patrol agent who was patrolling a dirt road used to bypass the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on U.S. Highway 95, Pineda-Doval refused to stop the vehicle despite the pleas of his passengers to stop. When another agent attempted to stop the vehicle using a controlled tire deflation device, Pineda-Doval abruptly swerved the vehicle, traveled off the roadway and swerved again in the opposite direction, causing the vehicle to roll and eject multiple occupants. Ten of the passengers died, including one of the pregnant women and her unborn child. Pineda-Doval was arrested after witnesses identified him as the driver. The jury deliberated approximately one hour to find him guilty of all charges during the October 2007 trial.

The investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Border Patrol(Yuma Sector) with assistance from the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. The prosecution was handled by Joseph E. Koehler and Raymond Woo, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-111(Pineda-Doval)

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