Man Hit With Prison Time After Smuggling Migrants in Jet Skis

( – Human smugglers use all kinds of methods to get people into the country. Hiding immigrants in vehicles or walking them across the border are popular ways to get them into America. One smuggler used a more unconventional method.

In September, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas announced that 26-year-old Fernando Cerda Jr. received a prison sentence. In July, the defendant pleaded guilty to smuggling five people into the US inside several jet skis. US District Judge David Morales sentenced him to four years in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

According to the press release, Cerda approached the US Border Falfurrias Checkpoint on April 24. He was towing two jet skis at the time. A K-9 alerted authorities to the watercraft. Border Patrol agents inspected the vehicles and found five illegal immigrants inside the jet skis.

The immigrants claimed they feared for their lives when Cerda trapped them in the watercraft.

Cerda’s sentence came a day before another man admitted to smuggling migrants into the US. On September 27, Christian Martinez, 29, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants resulting in death, one count of transporting illegal migrants resulting in death, and other charges related to the deaths of 53 immigrants in the back of a tractor-trailer.

In that case, Martinez worked with several other defendants to transport the immigrants in 2022. The undocumented people were put in a trailer without any air conditioning or water and transported through Texas. The victims ran out of air quickly, and the migrants began begging for help. The driver of the vehicle couldn’t hear their screams, and 53 of the 66 undocumented immigrants died.

Smugglers show authorities time and again that they don’t care about the well-being of the people they are transporting into the US. Fortunately, the five people who were shoved in Cerda’s jet skis didn’t meet the same fate as the migrants in the trailer.

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