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Driver pleads guilty in crash that killed 10

Citizen Staff Writer



The Hermosillo, Son., driver of a van that rolled over near Florence on Aug. 7, 2008, killing 10 people, has pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of illegal aliens resulting in death.

Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Brian Guzman-Ochoa, 39, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Tucson.

He admitted he drove the van that carried 19 illegal immigrants and rolled over on state Route 79, about 15 miles southeast of Florence.

Seven men and two women died in the crash. Another passenger died later of his injuries, Raynor said in a news release.

Guzman-Ochoa will be sentenced July 13 by U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake.

A conviction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison or the death penalty, a $250,000 fine or both, according to the news release from Raynor.

The government agreed not to seek the death penalty, the release said. The judge is not bound by the sentencing guidelines, Raynor said.

The dead and injured were trapped inside the vehicle and had to be extricated by rescue crews. The injured were flown to hospitals in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson.

The Chevrolet Suburban was heading north just before 8 a.m. when it ran off the road into a dry wash, slammed into a concrete abutment and flipped.

Driver in van crash that killed 10 migrants pleads guilty

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