DHS pilot pleads not guilty in drowning death case

A Department of Homeland Security helicopter pilot has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he lied to investigators over his role in the 2005 drowning of a would-be illegal immigrant in South Texas.

James Peters faces four counts of making false statements to investigators looking into the death of Carlos Delgadillo Martinez.

Prosecutors say Peters lied about a 2005 incident near a bridge in Laredo, Texas, accusing him of flying his helicopter low in an attempt to force Delgadillo and another person back to Mexico. Investigators say the force of the turbulence made Delgadillo lose his grip on an inner tube.

Peters' attorney, Thomas Berg, appeared at a hearing Tuesday in Houston on his behalf and said Peters had entered his pleas via court filing last week.