Jury Finds Man Guilty Of Transporting Illegal Aliens Near Yuma Resulting In Deaths Of Ten

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

PHOENIX – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Adan Pineda-Doval, 21, of Michoacán, Mexico, was found guilty late yesterday afternoon by a federal jury in Phoenix 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. Pineda-Doval was transporting 20 illegal aliens in a vehicle to Los Angeles and caused a rollover collision on Martinez Lake Road near the intersection of Ocotillo Road near Yuma, Ariz., killing 10 of the vehicle occupants including a pregnant woman whose fetus also failed to survive. The jury deliberated approximately one hour to find him guilty of all charges.

U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Knauss stated “Alien smugglers have a callous disregard for the value of human life. We will continue to aggressively pursue these types of alien smuggling cases, in which lives are jeopardized for personal profit.”

“This is yet another case in which alien smugglers place people in danger to maximize their profits, resulting in the loss of ten lives,” said Alonzo Pena, special agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in Arizona. “ICE would like to recognize the professionalism of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol in securing the crime scene. Thanks to their actions on scene and the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office we were quickly able to bring Pineda-Doval to justice.”

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 failed to stop the vehicle despite pleas of people inside the vehicle 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. Pineda-Doval was arrested after witnesses identified him as the driver of a 1995 Chevrolet Suburban involved in the crash. An expert who testified during the trial confirmed that the rollover was caused by Pineda-Doval swerving the vehicle.

The case was tried before U.S. District Court Judge Stephen M. McNamee between October 16 – 25, 2007. The defendant will remain in custody pending sentencing which is set before Judge McNamee on January 28, 2008. A conviction for each count of Transportation of Illegal Aliens Resulting in Death charges carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. The charge of Transportation of Illegal Aliens Placing Lives in Jeopardy carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. The charge of Re-Entry After Deportation carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge McNamee will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. Judge McNamee, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

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: 2007-223(Pineda-Doval)

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