A man was sentenced in San Diego court Friday for abandoning four men in the Otay Mountains after smuggling them across the border.
Efrain Delgado-Rosales, who collected four Mexican citizens hoping to enter the US from a stash house in Tijuana, will spend five years in prison a San Diego judge ordered.
Delgado-Rosales walked the men to the border fence then left them on the Mexico side for a period of hours in which the men were robbed of their cash (thousands of dollars) and some of their cell phones.
Delgado-Rosales was ‘indifferent’ to the robbery according to one of the robbed men. That and his lack of surprise led them to believe he may have been involved in the robbery.
Once over the border fence and into the Otay Mountains the men said they had trouble keeping up with Delgado-Rosales who, instead of slowing down, left three of the men behind.
He only returned after the one man who had stayed with him begged him to return with the others.
After almost a day of hiking through the mountains, Border Patrol located the men. They were about one mile north of the US Mexico border and three miles east of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
All five were arrested for entering the US illegally.
“This case serves as an example of the extreme dangers associated with crossing illegally into the United States,” US Attorney Laura Duffy said. “Smuggling activities are run by criminal organizations that have little concern over the welfare of their charges. Our office will aggressively prosecute those who smuggle illegal aliens into the United States for financial gain, place those in their company in grave danger and needlessly cause deaths.”
The four men identified Delgado-Rosales as their foot guide and explained that they and their families each promised to pay others $5,000 to get them each into the United States, for a total of $20,000.
“The sentence of Delgado-Rosales sends a stern message to those who use dangerous means to smuggle individuals into this country for profit. I would like to acknowledge the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts in this case,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Richard A. Barlow said.
Delgado-Rosales has been implicated in another smuggling operation in the Otay Mountains in 2014, just east of where the five men were found.
In that case one of the smuggled men, Jose de Jesus Hernandez-Adono, died. His body was found by Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations Agents in late September 2014.
A witness from the 2014 incident identified Delgado-Rosales as their foot guide and said he and the other two men barely survived the trek.
Delgado-Rosales has been apprehended by Border Patrol 24 times dating back to July 19, 1999. He was found alone only once.
In 2003 he was discovered in a house in Los Angles with 61 other undocumented people.