Two Arizona human smugglers sentenced for death of migrant

Apr 17, 2024, 4:35 AM | Updated: 6:11 am

Two Tucson men sentenced after highway death of 17-year-old...

A federal judge in Arizona found two Tucson men guilty of human smuggling last month, prosecutors said. (Facebook File Photo/Maricopa County Superior Court)

(Facebook File Photo/Maricopa County Superior Court)

PHOENIX — Two Tucson men were sentenced last month for their roles in the death of a 17-year-old migrant in 2022, authorities said.

Gerson Montano, 38, received nearly seven years in prison followed by five years of supervised released after being convicted of transportation of migrants resulting in death, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said on Tuesday.

Robert Dale Hart, 64, was sentenced to 4¼ years with five years of supervised release after being convicted of conspiracy to transport migrants resulting in death.

Unraveling the smuggling conspiracy in Arizona

The fatal incident occurred around 11 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2022 on westbound Interstate 10.

Prosecutors said a trooper attempted to stop an SUV driven by Montano, but he instead pulled over in the center median of the interstate.

Two people were then struck by a semitruck as a group of people fled from the vehicle and ran across the eastbound lanes of traffic, prosecutors said.

The teenager died at the scene while the other person was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

An investigation into the incident revealed Hart hired Montano to transport the undocumented migrants.

Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Arizona Department of Public Safety investigated the case.

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Two Arizona human smugglers sentenced for death of migrant