Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Smuggle Immigrants

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

PECOS - A judge in Pecos has sentenced a man in connection to a smuggling operation that killed five people.

On Wednesday, 43-year-old Armando Garcia-Lopez was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison.

He arranged for a semi to carry six illegal immigrants back in 2004.

The big rig was driving the wrong way on Highway 285 outside of Pecos and slammed into another semi.

Paul Wilkins of Kermit didn't see the wreckage because of poor weather and slammed into one of the rigs.

Wilkins, the driver of the semi hauling the illegals and three illegal immigrants died in the crash.

Garcia-Lopez also has to pay $11,000 in restitution to Wilkins' family.