Pair of Mesa women among 3 sentenced in Texas human smuggling deaths

Dec 20, 2023, 12:00 PM

Two Mesa women were sentenced in December 2023 for their roles in human smuggling deaths in Texas. ...

Two Mesa women were sentenced in December 2023 for their roles in human smuggling deaths in Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Two Mesa women were sentenced in the past week for their roles in human smuggling deaths in Texas, authorities announced Tuesday.

Guadalupe Quezada, 35, received a 135-month sentence and Veronica Quezada, 39, was sentenced to 63 months in prison after two migrants they attempted to smuggle from Mexico into the United States died after they were abandoned, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.

Guadalupe Quezada also had to forfeit three Phoenix properties she acquired with human smuggling money.

Both women, along with 39-year-old Elizabeth Miranda Lozano of Dallas, actively participated in an organization that transported and harbored migrants between November 2019 and August 2021, according to the release.

The organization would direct migrants to walk through the Chihuahuan Desert in west Texas. The migrants were then supposed to meet up with drivers, but the organization abandoned the two victims after they were unable to keep up with the rest of the group.

All three women pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to bring an alien to the United States resulting in death.

“The dangerous smuggling of human beings across our border has become far too prevalent and those [who] engage in or facilitate this activity must account for their deadly dealings,” U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas said.

“I commend the joint multidistrict efforts of our local, state and federal partners to bring this case to a successful close.”

Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case with help from the U.S. Border Patrol Big Bend and Tucson sectors, Dallas Enforcement Removal Operations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department and the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office.

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Pair of Mesa women among 3 sentenced in Texas human smuggling deaths