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Captain pleads guilty in San Diego smuggling boat deaths

Deadly Smuggling Crash
Posted at 12:33 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 12:33:00-04

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The captain of an overloaded smuggling boat that crashed into rocks and broke up off the San Diego coast last year, killing three immigrants, has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Antonio Hurtado entered pleas Wednesday to attempted human smuggling resulting in death and attempted human smuggling for financial gain.

He faces a possible life sentence.

Prosecutors say Hurtado, a U.S. citizen, was carrying 32 immigrants from Mexico into the United States last May.

His boat broke up in rough seas off the shore of Cabrillo National Monument.

Two women and a man drowned.

Other passengers were rescued by witnesses.