ARIZONA NEWS

Douglas man sentenced for noncitizen smuggling resulting in death

Jul 5, 2024, 1:30 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm

Gastelum was also sentenced to an additional 12 months in prison for violating his federal probatio...

A Douglas man was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to transportation of illegal noncitizens for profit resulting in death on Jan. 31. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — A Douglas man was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to transportation of illegal noncitizens for profit resulting in death on Jan. 31, the United States Attorney’s Office said.

Manuel Victor Gastelum, 27, was sentenced to 130 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. He was also sentenced to an additional 12 months in prison for violating his federal probation from a prior noncitizen smuggling conviction.

On Dec. 4, 2020, Gastelum picked up eight undocumented noncitizens near the border and transported them into the U.S.

While transporting the noncitizens, Gastelum lost control of his vehicle while driving recklessly and rolled it multiple times. A 42-year-old male was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene while other passengers were transported to the hospital.

Gastelum fled from the crash but was apprehended later that morning, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Gastelum had previously been convicted of transportation of noncitizens for profit and placing life in jeopardy back in 2019. He allegedly crashed into a gas station while transporting undocumented noncitizens and fled from law enforcement, prosecutors said.

For that, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

He violated those terms after committing this recent offense just three months after his release from federal prison.

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Douglas man sentenced for noncitizen smuggling resulting in death