Feds to seek death penalty in human smuggling case

October 5, 2012 4:44:23 AM PDT
Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a Salvadoran man accused in a human smuggling operation in which two immigrants were fatally beaten trying to escape.

A federal grand jury in Houston returned a superseding indictment Thursday against Wilmar Rene Duran-Gomez. It accuses the 40-year-old man of conspiracy, money laundering and harboring aliens resulting in the deaths of two Honduran men. Five others also were charged with conspiracy.

A Justice Department statement says illegal immigrants were delivered to a southwest Houston warehouse in November 2006. Some started a fire as cover for an escape attempt that failed.

Prosecutors say Duran and two others beat the immigrants as punishment, two fatally, and Duran had their bodies dumped in a remote vacant lot.

A message to Duran's attorneys was not returned.

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