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Two men connected to car crash death arrested for conspiracy

The Homeland Security Investigations have arrested Axel Elias Ramirez and Jorge Soto-Ochoa for conspiracy after also killing passenger in single car crash.

EL PASO, Texas — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents have arrested two men, one a teenage U.S. citizen and a Mexican national, in connection to the death of an undocumented non-citizen who died Monday after a one-vehicle accident.

U.S. Border Patrol and the El Paso Police Department are assisting with the case.

The two people arrested were 19-year-old Axel Elias Ramirez, a U.S. citizen, and 34-year-old Jorge Soto-Ochoa, a Mexican national. They are charged with Conspiracy to Transport and Harbor Illegal Aliens for Profit, which will result in either a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 or both.

On Monday, the Ford Explorer Ramirez was driving had seven undocumented passengers onboard. At around 4:45 a.m., the car fell into an irrigation canal at Upper Valley Road and Via De Los Arboles after Ramirez lost control of the vehicle. A Guatemalan man died of injuries he sustained in the accident. At this time we do not know the name of the man who died. Ramirez and the seven other passengers were taken to a local hospital.

Ochoa, the other man charged, was the foot guide in the smuggling scheme, according to court documents. Both men made their first appearance in federal court Wednesday, and are being held without bond.

“This horrific accident is yet another example of the dangers of illegally crossing the border, as well as the total disregard for safety and life by greedy, reckless human smugglers,” said HSI El Paso Special Agent in Charge, Francisco Burrola. “HSI is committed to disrupting and dismantling these transnational criminal organizations in collaboration with our partners at the U.S. Border Patrol and El Paso Police Department, because illicit smuggling networks not only jeopardize the lives of its victims, but endanger public safety.”

The public may report smuggling activity by calling 1-866-347-2423 toll-free, internationally at 001-1802-872-6199, or by completing the online tip form.

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