One of President Donald Trump’s “bad hombres” is going to federal prison and then back to Mexico over a deadly human smuggling scheme.
Pedro Silva-Segura, a Mexican national involved in a transport operation that ended in the deaths of 10 illegal aliens in San Antonio, was sentenced to nine years behind bars.
Himself an illegal alien who has been deported 15 times from the U.S., Silva-Segura took a plea deal that capped his sentence.
“(He’s the) poster child for President Trump,” U.S. District Judge David Ezra said at sentencing Wednesday. “This is not a good thing.”
Ezra said he would have sentenced Silva-Segura to 30 to 40 years, but the plea bargain tied his hands.
Silva-Segura, 47, ran a stash house for a Mexican cartel in Laredo. In December 2017, more than 100 illegals were stuffed into an un-air-conditioned 18-wheeler and transported north.
Defense attorney Adriana Arce-Flores said her client was just a small cog in a much larger criminal enterprise. “I’m hopeful that the government will continue an investigation into this case to get the people that should be (in federal court),” she said.
Investigation of the pre-Christmas incident was hobbled from the outset when San Antonio Police Chief William McManus allowed the release of illegal aliens who should have been detained as material witnesses.
A Department of Homeland Security report said the chief turned away a Homeland Security Investigations agent at the scene, saying he did not want HSI to “scare people.”
The driver of the rig, 61-year-old James Matthew Bradley, Jr., was previously sentenced to life in prison for transporting illegal aliens resulting in death, the same charge as Silva-Segura.
Silva-Segura will be deported — for the 16th time — after serving his prison term.
In another smuggling case that ended in San Antonio, a man charged with hauling more than 50 illegal aliens from the Mexican border in a refrigerated truck last summer was sentenced to at least 70 months in federal prison.
Gerardo Carreon, 36, of Laredo, pleaded guilty to illegally transporting migrants for money.