A Spring Valley man was sentenced to just over four years in prison for smuggling 20 people who illegally entered the United States on two occasions, one of which involved a high-speed police chase.
Jose Manuel Gonzalez, 31, pleaded guilty to transporting eight people in a minivan in 2019 and a dozen people in the back of a pickup truck in 2021 while free on bail for the first offense.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that during the second attempt on June 18, 2021, agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection tried to stop Gonzalez’s truck, but he sped off while 12 migrants without legal permission to be in the country were in the back of the pickup.
Gonzalez’s plea agreement states that one migrant was a minor and none of the 12 people in the truck had seat belts or other safety devices to restrain them.
Gonzalez was sentenced Monday to 51 months in federal custody.
City News Service contributed to this article.