Man Faces Up To Life Term for Death Involving Coast Guard Boat

Gavel at rest

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Prosecutors say a Mexican man faces up to life in prison for the 2015 death of an immigrant struck and killed by a Coast Guard patrol boat while trying to enter the U.S. illegally.

Galdino Jose Ruiz-Hernandez of Oaxaca (wuh-HAH'-kah), Mexico, was convicted Wednesday in Brownsville of human smuggling-related charges leading to death. He remains in custody pending sentencing.

Investigators say Ruiz-Hernandez was in the water trying to guide the woman through the Brownsville Ship Channel when she was hit by a Coast Guard vessel on patrol.

Ruiz-Hernandez was arrested after reporting to Port of Brownsville officials that a friend told him he saw a woman's body floating in the channel, leading to recovery of the victim. Investigators later determined Ruiz-Hernandez was trying to smuggle Patricia Guadalupe Cervantes Garcia.

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