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Five face federal charges in crash that killed undocumented immigrants

(SBG San Antonio photo)

Five people have been charged for their roles in a smuggling scheme that resulted in the deaths of five undocumented immigrants.

Federal authorities made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

According to a news release, Border Patrol agents were investigating three SUVs — a 2013 Tahoe, a 2007 Suburban, and a 2008 Tahoe — traveling in a convoy on Farm-to-Market 2544 between El Indio and Carrizo Springs on Sunday. T

The 2013 Tahoe stopped, but the other cars kept driving and led agents on a high speed chase. At some point, 20–year-old Jorge Luis Monsivais, Jr., of Eagle Pass, who was driving the Suburban, crashed in Big Wells. Dimmit County deputies said he was traveling more than 100 miles per hour before crashing.

Thirteen undocumented immigrants, including a minor, were in the car. Four died at the scene and one later died at the hospital. At this time, 7 remain in the hospital.

WATCH: 5 dead after SUV being chased by Border Patrol crashes in Big Wells

At the second scene, the driver of the 2008 Tahoe eventually stopped and several people fled from the car. Agents detained a 17-year-old and 10 undocumented immigrants at the scene.

According to a criminal complaint, Monsivais, 55-year-old Mexican citizen Marcial Gomez Santana, who was driving the 2013 Tahoe; and occupants, 45-year-old Mexican citizen Mariela Reyna; Marcial’s son, 21-year-old Rudy Gomez of Hockley; and, Marcial’s daughter, 19-year-old Johana Gomez of Houston are all facing charges for their alleged connection to the smuggling incident. If convicted, they could face life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Of the total of 23 immigrants involved, 21 are Mexican nationals and two are Honduran nationals. Six of the 23 are being held on federal complaints as witnesses, according to the news release.

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