Published July 16, 2012
| Associated Press
TUCSON, Ariz. – A Mexican man has pleaded guilty to being a smuggling guide in the death of an illegal immigrant last year in southern Arizona.
Federal prosecutors said Monday that 51-year-old Hiliberto Jimenez-Palacios pleaded guilty to transportation of an illegal immigrant.
He's scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 21.
Jimenez-Palacios was indicted by a grand jury in Tucson last July.
Prosecutors say Jimenez-Palacios led five illegal immigrants across the Arizona border and through the desert in late June 2011. But the group lacked adequate supplies of food and water to complete the multi-day hike in triple-digit heat.
A woman in the group showed signs of dehydration and died on the second day of the hike. Jimenez-Palacios eventually instructed the rest of the group to give themselves up to law enforcement on a roadside.