Fourth guilty plea in human smuggling attempt that killed 53 in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — There is now a fourth guilty plea in a case involving 53 illegal immigrants found dead in a tractor trailer in San Antonio.

According to court documents, Mexican national Luis Alberto Rivera-Leal, 38, was a member of the human smuggling organization responsible for the failed smuggling attempt on June 27, 2022. In that case, 47 adults and six children were found dead in the trailer, all coming from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

Rivera-Leal would meet tractor trailers that had transported migrants to San Antonio and then take smaller groups to Houston in his personal vehicle.

Rivera-Leal pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport aliens placing lives in jeopardy. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Other co-defendants whose cases are still pending include Homero Zamorano Jr., 47, who served as the driver of the tractor trailer; Felipe Orduna-Torres, 29; and Armando Gonzales-Ortega, 54.

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